Who Are These “Toxic” People?

Food for Thought @ Jose's Seafood

In recent years, I’ve been hearing the term “toxic people” a lot. According to Google Trends, it began trending about a decade ago. The fact that I can’t think of anyone I would describe as a “toxic” person means that there must be someone who considers everyone toxic, which in turn means nobody can be objectively toxic. If you know someone who is objectively toxic, let me know; I’d love to have dinner with that person.

Tomatoes are supposedly toxic because it contains a poisonous alkaloid called “Solanine.” As we all know, alcohol is toxic. But deep-fried foods, I don’t think, contain any identifiable poisons although we know they are not healthy. When people use the term “toxic people,” they are referring to the toxicity of this nature.

I see many similarities between those who complain about “toxic people” and those who stay away from all foods that are even remotely “toxic.” They don’t seem to realize that “good” cannot exist without “bad.” They hold on to the fantasy that it’s possible for the world to be all good. The existence of any negativity, in their view, is not only a nuisance but a moral infraction.

If your liver was dysfunctional and could not process any toxins, I can understand why you would minimize the consumption of toxins, but even then, you wouldn’t blame the world for it. You would accept that the problem lies with your liver. Like food, every human being is “toxic” to some degree and to different consumers. We are meant to consume toxins; otherwise, we wouldn’t have livers. It’s the particular combination of good and bad that gives each person, or each food, the depth and complexity, and the allure. If you cannot handle negativity, the problem is not the person who holds it but your inability to process it. And, it is your sense of entitlement that makes you feel the world, or some paternal figure, should eliminate all the negativities for you.

It’s the negativities that make someone truly a human being. Like bitter foods, we have to make an effort to appreciate them. If you kept eating only candies, you wouldn’t be able to see the full spectrum of what life has to offer.