Humanity as a Hamburger
Updated: May 19
If I were to choose a food to represent humanity, it would be a hamburger. A hamburger is a piece of meat hidden within the cover and impression of other ingredients, which are associated with it as if it was more than a piece of fatty meat.
This is something we all do. We hide our vulnerable egos behind external additions of pride and attraction, but we may associate them as components of our egos nonetheless, as they are, allegedly, more “organs” of our bodies, like the skin, which is external to us but a part of our body.
From military leaders to Instagram personalities, we all hide ourselves behind filters, cosmetics, and other additions that make us appear bigger than what we actually are. We appear to have a bigger self-worth, as a way to deny the possibility that we are not as important or significant as we think we are.
We therefore hide behind our achievements, behind our possessions, behind our friends and followers, and behind other things that are not necessarily who we are.
We all do this to compensate for a hidden, subconscious fear that we are nothing more than a grain of sand in a massive desert. We thus make others see us as fortresses of sand, while we hide our true grain selves in the depths of these hypocritical buildings of self-empowerment.
When the body is exposed to the cold of the Great Void, while any grandiose, warm, and yet synthetic piece of cloth is taken away from us, what is then the point of living when we are exposed to the infinity of emptiness, threatening to make us scream in terror when faced with the likely absurdity of existence?
This is what makes humility so great and so sincere. Those who are modest, despite their achievements and social positions, are more aware than many of us of mankind's actual significance—as a sentient race of local conquerors of a mere small world, one of many worlds, in a huge galaxy, and even a much larger universe, whose immense growth minimizes even the most famous and known humans in our relatively short history of cultural and technological growth.
We are all hamburgers.
Who will want to eat just the meat when a greater sense of satisfaction and satiation, fake as it may be, can be provided? Whether we go socialize with others, attend an interview, or go on a date—the bare minimum of the patty isn't enough. Like a peacock, if we wish to be remembered by others distinctively, then we must show off more layers of ourselves, whether they are actually legitimate or not. Otherwise, we will be stripped of our individuality, at least in the eyes of others, if not in the eyes of ourselves.
People like to be impressed, as long as the impressing is not too arrogant. A void CV is like an empty bar—it lacks the colorfulness, the greatness, that a person is capable of becoming, if they only tried hard enough, to feature in their image more and more layers that satisfy the eye and the ear. Without impressions of others, it would be hard to estimate their worth to us, after all. We could try, however, to sit with them and listen to them more extensively, but unfortunately not all of us have this privilege of extensive personal time with someone we have just met.
Thus, as "hamburgers," our mission in the external world is to look as "delicious" as possible. This is because doing so will open doors for us and give us more opportunities. Job positions, dates, investments, hobbies—all are unlocked by increasing the possibility of creating a good impression on as many people as possible, if we so wish to seize what this life has to offer us, and vice versa.
Those who do not want to feel small and insignificant will run away from their own "patty" self and gather as many ingredients as possible to put on themselves, because otherwise, they would be but a piece of meat, covered in the depths of other meat pieces.
The "salvation" of the individualist, therefore, lies within what they are capable of achieving in their lives, and whether or not they will actually try and do these things.
But yes, in the end, you cannot remove the self beyond the tasty layers of the "hamburger-self." In fact, it is the only thing you cannot remove. Otherwise, how would others enjoy a hamburger without a burger inside it?
What is that ham, exactly? That ham is your sincerity; the one that is either expressed through the layers it puts on itself, or hides behind them in fear of the bitter truth to be revealed about them. It is, eventually, your choice, whether to use your achievements as a form of escapism or self-denial, or as "extensions" of yourself; the things that you are beyond your body, clothes, money (or lack of it), and the rest of the bare necessities many humans possess.