Many of us have had this conversation before. If you had to give up one of your five senses what would you choose and why. Over time my answer has changed. It used to be smell, and once it was taste.
But as I sit here now I am dumbfounded, I really don’t know what to say or how to determine what has the least value to me. So here are some random thoughts.
Touch- I don’t believe in being Shomer Nigia for a variety of reasons, but this is a side issue. A good hug can change your day. It can alter your mood and bring your spirits up. And the sexual component of this is obvious. I might as well throw myself down a well.
Sight- The first thing that comes to mind are my children. The joy that they bring is palpable. And some of the greatest moments of my life involve just watching them. Just observing them learn things about themselves and life. I can’t imagine not being able to participate in their life in any way. And not having the ability to see would hurt that.
Beyond that, I have been blessed with the opportunity to have witnessed so many of nature’s bounty. Gosh, that sounds hokey, but it is true. Have you ever seen a waterfall up close, stood next to a Redwood or watched the ocean race by. Have you witnessed dolphins dancing in the sea or seen a sunset that takes your breath away. I couldn’t give this up.
Smell- Certain smells are evocative of so many things. The smell of your children, your parents, your grandparents, a spouse or lover. The scent of baked bread or other baked goods. Some smells take me back in time. It is a chance to revisit old memories.
I once went on a date that was killed by my cologne. It wasn’t that I wore too much, it was the Polo cologne that I wore on the date. I knew within two minutes of arrival that something was wrong. It wasn’t hard to notice the pained expression on her face. The smell was good for an extended hug, but it wasn’t me that she was smelling.
Hearing- As I have mentioned many times I love music. I can’t count the number of instances in which it’s beauty has touched me. The times in which it has created raw emotion and lifted me up in ways that I cannot describe. How could I remove this from myself.
Taste- I love to eat. There is joy in experiencing a fine meal. Certain foods are just evocative of special times and places. My seder would not have the same impact if I wasn’t able to eat my mother’s kugel. How could I lose this.
So, the answer is I don’t know that I could choose one. And since I am making the rules I am not going to force myself to select one. I’ll just try and remember to appreciate them as much as I can.