I was cured today. Though not really by renunciation. Rather visualization. I'll explain.
I was at Central Market, and... It must seem all I do is go shopping for food. My wife might agree.
Anyway, I wasn't very tempted by the free samples, since I had a good breakfast and I was in a hurry.
I saw a big man reaching in for a sample of shortcake. There were tongs... but he chose his fingers. Then he put the shortcake in his mouth, smacked it down, and then noticed me staring at him. He winked and went for another bite (against my rules), not taking his eyes off me. This time he slid over the tongs, and reached with his now slobbery fingers onto the mound of shortcake.
Enough... all I have to do is to remember the sickening thought of those germs jumping off his fingers onto the mound of shortcake...
I was going to go to a hypnotist, or maybe read more of the Talmud... but no, all I have to do is to think of those germs and I'll follow in my kid's footsteps of not eating what's free.
I keep forgetting "thinking with your heart," the first truth that I took from the Talmud. The second is to control passion, and the third is to not turn down an opportunity to enjoy life. And now I have a reason to do all three, don't I?
In the meantime, I learned today that one of seven principles of Japanese aesthetics is Datsuzoku, meaning freedom from habit or formula. So now I have a reason to break my new habit... or not eating free samples.
We'll see what tomorrow offers.