“Blue cheese (or bleu cheese) is a general classification of cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, or goat’s milk cheeses that have had cultures of the mold Penicillium added so that the final product is spotted or veined throughout with blue mold, and carries a distinct smell, either from that or various specially cultivated bacteria. Some blue cheeses are injected with spores before the curds form.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_cheese]
What is it about blue cheese that excites the taste buds of some of us and turns the stomachs of others? Is it the thought of mold mixed in, the pungent smell of a rotten egg, or the crumbly, sticky feel of the cheese? For the bleu cheese aficionado the injected spores, the distinct aroma, and the smooth creamy texture, coupled with a dry water table cracker, instills an image of an appetizer fit for a king.
People are a lot like blue cheese. Wrapped up in our shiny clothes (like the Maytag Bleu in the picture), putting forth our best image. Yet, to some people we come across as stinky inside; not someone you would want to get to know. To others, the shiny persona merely conceals a savory congenial soul within. The peculiar thing about blue cheese is that you have to develop a taste for it: after a time that taste evolves into a discerning palate, discriminating between brands, regions of manufacture, and even animal of origin. People are the same way.
Some people, we are drawn to right off the bat: others, well…, they take some time to get used to. Given a chance, even they will begin to grow on you, smell and all. We must develop the ability to not pass judgment based on first impressions, lingering aroma (or stink), or predisposed conclusions about people, especially ones who are kind of moldy. That mold has seasoned them over a long period of time; they now have a lot more taste to their lives that we might, surprisingly, enjoy.
A goodly number of my friends, close friends, are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to discerning tastes in food, taste in music, religious expression & fervor, refinement in culture, and choice of leisure-time activity (eg- I like test-driving Maybachs & Jaguars; they, bird watching, fishing.) We’re different, yet close friends. Our differences are the strength which feeds our friendship. Judging or condemning one another never enters the portrait. [Well, maybe at first.]
God has definitely NOT created us all the same, let alone equally. We have a responsibility to help those less fortunate, to care for the sick, the broken-hearted, the weary-of-life. And we have a divine directive to learn from people who are genuinely different from ourselves. They have a lot to give: so do you. Get to it. And share some bleu cheese while you’re at it.
Have a nice week,