Imagine if a peanut had a personality -- thoughts and feelings, etc. Now in this world where peanuts think and feel, let's put a few people who are honest.
"I love you, man!" one person might say to Peanut, "Really. I cannot get enough of you. Every situation is made better when you're around. I think you are just so great!"
Peanut, of course, would be humbled and very grateful, and would be sure to add this person to his Christmas card list.
"I don't really think that much about peanuts," another person might say. "Sometimes you are there and sometimes you are not and sometimes that's good and sometimes that's not as good as it could be. On the whole, though, I suppose you're OK."
And Peanut would think this to be a reasonable stance and would probably add this person to his Christmas card list, as well.
"I hate you," another person might say. "I don't like your taste, I don't like your texture, I don't like your look. If there's something in which you are involved I want no part of it, because I just don't like you at all."
Peanut, though hurt, would understand this viewpoint as well. He might wonder if perhaps this person might have the wrong impression of him -- perhaps this person has only seen peanuts when they are associating with drunks in the cheap seats at baseball games. But Peanut would just accept that people have varying tastes and wouldn't spend too much time thinking about it.
But the people that Peanut would find himself worrying about would be those who have an allergic or illogical reaction to him. He would have no idea what he was doing to cause such a violent negative reaction in these people and it would hurt his self-image to think that at any moment he could, without warning, draw such a terrible response.
And one day, one of his peanut superiors would pull him into their office and say: "A person has suffered anaphylactic shock because of you, Peanut. This sort of behavior must have repercussions. As such, you will not be given a pay raise this year."
Peanut would ask what exactly he had done wrong, but no answer would be given and he would be sent out of the office.
"I don't understand what I've done wrong," Peanut would say to himself. "I don't understand how I can do such bad things and have no idea that I'm doing them. I still don't understand what I've done wrong. I'm just a peanut. I wonder whether I have any role at all in the culinary world. But what else can I be? I've never been anything else but a peanut -- I don't know how to be anything else."