Doing Things I Dislike

— don't know and don't like

The last movies I’ve watched, Mulholland Drive, 8 ½, both required analysis to enjoy. After I was taught to appreciate the movies, I thought the two were incredible. I wouldn’t have liked them much without analysis from Roger Ebert or a breakdown of the drama from film reviewers.

How can something become infinitely enjoyable after someone tells me how to enjoy it?

I had to learn to like these movies. So what are things I didn’t have to learn to like? What does it mean to like something if you had to learn to like them?

Likes seem to be the most important thing in the world. It’s how decisions are made–what we go for, avert, who to hang out with. But if it’s all learned, why is it the basis of so much decision making?

No one could actually prove whether everything a person likes is learned. There are tastes we acquire, but there are things we naturally have an affinity towards. It’s not clear whether our environment molded us to like certain things or whether we’ve developed an interest independently.

The truth is, the mediocre and even disliked, can be learned to be liked.

Why stay within the bounds of what you like?

Things I dislike may just not have been revealed in a way where I could like them. Brussel sprouts were disgusting as a child but when I finally came across them made well, I wished I had them earlier. The appreciation opened my palette–I was able to enjoy even more bitter vegetables.

It doesn’t mean that I’ll end up liking everything I dislike. I cannot imagine liking any of Kate Hudson’s romcoms. But there’s an opportunity to learn something when you’re so far from understanding. Perhaps I may never learn to like things I dislike–just as I’m incapable of learning the theory of relativity. I’m just too dumb to understand.

I’m missing out on a lot of the world by choosing only what I like. I stay ignorant on why or how people like things I dislike if I continue to only pursue things I like.

Perhaps I don’t have to go to extremes to learn why anyone could enjoy a Kate Hudson romcom, but at least, I can start by trying out things I mildly dislike rather than what I strongly dislike.

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