By Mike Ruffin
People have varying opinions on breakfast. Some people love it, some people hate it, and some people can take it or leave it.
My attitude toward breakfast has changed over the years.
When I was a child, breakfast usually consisted of a bowl of oatmeal or some heavily sweetened cereal (Sugar Smacks—now known as Honey Smacks—and Cap’n Crunch were my favorites, but I would tolerate Alpha Bits).
I’m sure Mama and Daddy fixed a nice hot breakfast on occasion—they were after all good and loving parents.
I was always in a rush during my teenage years, so I had to consume my breakfast in a hurry. My breakfast of choice during that period was Carnation Instant Breakfast. I’d just pour the chocolate-flavored powder in a glass of milk, stir it up, drink it down, and be off and running.
When I was in college, I sometimes partook of the hot breakfast provided in the cafeteria. On many days, though, I reverted to my childhood and had a bowl of cereal. I always had a glass of milk and a glass of orange juice. In fact, I drank orange juice with my breakfast all through my adulthood, right up until I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I reckon I drank too much orange juice. All the sweets I ate throughout my life might have also had a little something to do with the onset of my condition, I suppose.
While I’m on the subject of breakfast beverages, I should note that I was an adult before I added coffee to my breakfast menu. I somehow got all the way through college, seminary, and graduate school without partaking of the dark nectar. I was finally corrupted by the deacons in the first church I served as pastor. They held a monthly prayer breakfast at which I finally gave in to the seductive lure of coffee’s aroma. (I eventually got used to the taste.)
For most of my adult life, breakfast has consisted mainly of oatmeal. You may think that sounds boring, but I have had some excitingly good colonoscopy results.
I’ve tried to develop more variety in my breakfast menu in my retirement years. (I’ve always eaten breakfast every morning, but now I have to so I can take my medicine.) Oatmeal is still part of the rotation—now it’s individual packets of Quaker instant made with lower sugar content. But so are Jimmy Dean sausage biscuits and Kroger cinnamon raisin bagels with cream cheese.
Another addition to the breakfast lineup is my favorite one. My Good Wife bakes banana bread. I’m talking real banana bread made with real bananas and with real love. It’s delicious. With all due respect to Folger’s, my Good Wife’s banana bread is the best part of waking up.
Thank you for reading my reflections about breakfast. I really wanted to write about the recent Supreme Court rulings, but I haven’t been able to get my mind wrapped around them well enough to write intelligently or coherently about them. So, I figured it would be better to stick to something non-controversial (although some of you may well quibble with something I said even about the seemingly innocuous subject of breakfast). But I will venture to say this much: we need to think long and hard about the role that freedom plays in American society. I say that because it seems to me that recent Supreme Court decisions have restricted some freedoms in dangerous ways and have expanded others in dangerous ways.
I hope you’ll join me in trying to think about possible outcomes.
Choices we make about breakfast are for the most part inconsequential.
Choices that our leaders in the judicial branch—as well as those in the executive and legislative branches—make are very consequential.
So are the ones we make in the voting booth.