We use labels, and need them, to organize and keep track of things. Ever have an unlabeled can? I have. Once when the label fell off of my green beans, I just put it on the shelf with my vegetables. My cupboards are subject to much shuffling. OK, I’m pretty unorganized and put things in my cupboards in order to stash them away from little kids (I do child day care.).
After awhile, I couldn’t remember if the beans were french style or whole. A small detail but something that I had thought I’d remember.
Then much more time went by. Yes, I was sure the unlabeled can was a can of beans but they were “hanging out” with my baked beans. It didn’t take very long before I was convinced the unlabeled can contained baked beans.
When putting together a meal, I avoided the unlabeled can. I like sure things and began to wonder what brand and flavor the shiny metal mystery held.
Finally, a day before doing my groceries, I was in need of something to accompany hot dogs. I felt adventurous and could see the time stamped expiration date on my mystery beans was rapidly approaching. Why not? I opened the can.
Carrots. What the heck?
I cannot explain what happened. In the imperfect world where labels come off, I had lost track and was operating under an assumption that I would have wagered money on. I was a victim of the old “shell game”.
As amusing as my untidy can goods cupboard is, I thought it held a lesson.
People don’t only use labels on can goods. We try to organize most everything…even people, into categories. The current state of politics has my head reeling. Liberal, conservative, libertarian, tea party, democrat, republican…Yikes. So many labels and, quite frankly, I don’t know which are green beans and which are baked beans anymore.(They might even be carrots!)
Every time I think I know the definition of these political labels, I find they don’t fit the individuals that I want to stick them to. Certainly, none of those labels describe me.
Even the one label, American, has its little asterisk. I read an article about the proposed Dream Act in Time magazine. It was written by an “illegal alien”. I must admit. The label Illegal Alien reminds me of short video clips of Mexicans rushing our borders which then brings the subject of drug cartels to my mind. “Hold on!”, my inner self said. “Read the article first. There just may be carrots where you thought were beans.”
The writer of the article was originally from the Philippines. He was brought here as a kid, has paid taxes, has gone to school, and has said the Pledge of Allegiance (and meant it) . Most of his family is “legal” and upon asking government officials how he might become legal they just plain don’t know how to answer him. You see, the immigration system IS and always was a mess of bureaucracy that they themselves cannot navigate. Kinda like our IRS by the way.
This cover story opened my eyes to one of the human issues involved with “illegals” and how the system is our greater enemy. I’m not in favor of an open border policy, by any means, but I’m glad I took the TIME to check my labels. 😉