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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Labels (01/05/04)

TITLE: Look for the UNION LABEL
By Linda Germain
01/11/04

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Remember when supermarket boxes and cans had very little information about the contents? This was before truth in advertising laws became tougher, and before we became more nutritionally savvy. Since the point was to move the merchandise, a lot of liberties were taken with labeling.

Some muffin mixes sported enticing pictures, oozing with delicious blueberries . You could almost taste them. The trouble was, nary a berry could be found. Frozen dinners tempted palates with golden fried chicken and creamy potatoes. Again, reality was very scant and not so yummy. Cans of chicken soup seemed sadly lacking in a visit from any kind of fowl.

Consumer driven objections turned advertising towards enlightening us on the subject of chemicals or preservatives or food values. This was a good thing. Nonetheless, our faith in the producing company must extend to believing that what they say is in there, is really in there. Labels must be straight.

My wise and expressive grandmother could find an adage to cover just about any profound truth. She quoted liberally from Scripture, but also, she could shoot quick one-liners at us as reminders of those biblical truths. “You can’t tell a book by its cover” and “pretty is as pretty does”, were two of her favorites.

She was warning us to look behind those veneers and to remember that beauty may be skin deep, but there could be a whole lot of ugly underneath. She wanted us to show evidence of good character as well as to search for it in others.

I have thought a lot about the truths she was so anxious for us to embrace.

This prudent, perceptive, and not so subtle mother of my mother was especially insightful in her admonitions regarding romance. She warned us that rose-colored glasses often blur our perceptions, making even the obvious packaging details difficult to read. She preached that the charming façade, or the “label”, might be so dazzling that we choose to ignore the still quiet voice, or even the clanging alarm. Filtering everything through God’s word made her an astute observer, an embodiment of sense and sensibility.

In further analogy, the importance of correct labeling is the one of the basic fundamentals learned by any first year nursing student. Everything from medication, to charts, to the patients themselves must be labeled to avoid mistakes and to provide accurate and competent care. In medicine, labels are VITAL SIGNS. Errors can cause irreversible complications.

Reading cans and boxes and pill bottles gives us information on contents. In the end, though, we must have faith that what the label reflects is actually contained therein. The same is true for people. Honesty, loyalty, integrity, in fact all points of good character, are ingredients for successful and loving relationships. An enticing label may advertise one thing, but reveal something entirely different. The consumer of food or medicine can take some comfort in a federal regulating agency empowered to protect us by establishing standards and exposing fraudulent claims.

There exists an even higher operative for governing our important connections to others in any partnership or union, especially marriage. It is so simple we can even sing it: look for Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, on the label, label, label.


Member Comments
Member Date
Anthony David01/12/04
Your ending is excellent!
Kathy Pollock01/15/04
Oh, this is so good. You had a nanny like mine, and believe me, I still pass on her adages. My kids have learned to listen for them. Grat ending.
Kathy Pollock01/15/04
Obviously, I meant great article, not grat article. I'm sorry.
L.M. Lee01/18/04
very clever! enjoyed.