If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill — no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?
Imagine you’re aboard a giant space station right now and the only food and nutrition you have is contained within small medicine pills, because not even the greatest minds have figured out how to grow anything in space. Early in the morning (whenever that is in space, you decide) you line up to receive your pill from the med station. No one fights over who gets what or who goes first because everyone’s medicine is carefully counted out and labeled.
Now there is a choice of two pills one can take a day. A red pill or a blue pill. They both provide a carefully constructed balance of nutrients the human body needs to stay healthy in the harsh environment of space: proteins, vitamins, calories, sugars, iron, potassium, calcium, the list goes on. These pills do more than give you a healthy diet though, they lead you down one path or the other. A space station inhabitant would choose the red pill if they wanted to live with the truth that something terrible has happened in their life and they wanted to brood over it or even write about it, while one would take the blue pill if they wanted to forget the bad memories or reality that life on Earth is no more (wiped out by a widespread zombie pandemic). The effects of the pills only last 24 hours and then the person’s thoughts are back to normal. Billion dollar idea, bad engineering.
Now, personally, I wouldn’t mind taking one of these pills because all the work of keeping my body healthy and balanced would be taken care of. I wouldn’t have to worry about overeating or having too much or too little of something. Snacking on and off is a big habit of mine. Not having to worry about eating those very unhealthy meals from fast food and casual restaurants or eating a mini-pizza right before bed would be great. But the bad thing is I would very much miss eating the foods I love and this bland pill would get old quick. Chicken sandwiches, barbecue ribs, pizza, icecream, shrimp, mac & cheese, spaghetti, beer…oh, my.
In philosophical terms, and according to The Matrix (a film I have yet to see, where am I?), the red pill is for accepting reality and the harsh truth, while the blue pill is for blissful ignorance and staying in a fantasy world. Neo had to choose between one or the other. Maybe that’s why old men take the blue pill (Viagra). They cannot face the reality that they are past their prime and shouldn’t be doing those things anymore!
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Red Pill, Blue Pill.”