Dove Promises have been my guilty please for years. The silky smooth chocolate melting on my tongue would awaken all of my senses and relax every muscle in my body. As I placed the velvet – like piece of chocolate on my tongue, I would smooth out the wrapper and read the “promise”, which was usually a proverb, or a cool saying. Yes, I like Fortune Cookies for their fortunes, too. I am not sure why I enjoy reading aphorisms on candy wrappers so much, but I know that I do. While pondering this, I came to a conclusion that it might be because it is something easily accessible – all you have to do is unwrap a piece of chocolate or break open a cookie. In today’s day and age there are easier ways – sign up for daily emails with pearls of wisdom. However, I like to control the flow of information. If I am feeling inspired (or in need of inspiration), I will grab a Dove and get to work. If I do not feel like it, I do not have to clear all the potential junk from my Inbox.
Once I have read the saying, I sit back, enjoy the chocolate and think about the writing on the wrapper. Once the chocolate has melted, it is time to get back to reality. Sometimes the saying stays with me, sometimes it does not. It depends on what it was.
A year or two (or more?) ago, Dove decided to involve its audience. Consumers were (are?) able to share their thoughts with the company, and then potentially see their sayings on the chocolate’s wrapper. Unfortunately, these are less appealing to me than the original promises. I am already having a hard time relating to people, I do not need to be reminded of this fact when I am indulging in chocolate.
Enough about Dove. It was actually a Halls wrapper that inspired this post. Chances are you know what those are, but if you do not, it is a brand of mentholated cough drops. They have helped me through some horrible times throughout my life. Whenever I feel a tickle in my throat, I rush to the pharmacy (if I do not have them on hand) in order to get some. It is possible that I am becoming immune, because they seem to have a less of an effect on me now than they did ten years ago. Or maybe the ingredients have changed and they are indeed less efficient. Like Dove Promises, Halls also have messages written on their wrappers. They are written on the outside of the wrapper, so you can actually read the messages as you unwrap the cough drop. Unlike the promises, these are rather short (often two words). They are meant to empower you and make you feel better. The producer assumes that you are under the weather (Why else would you be consuming those?), and they want to motivate and inspire you to get you through the day.
Once the drop is in my mouth, I smooth out the wrapper and place it on my desk so that I can look at it whenever I need some affirmation. Usually, it does power me through the day. Some of them speak to me louder than the others. Thankfully, there are usually a few different phrases written on the wrapper, so you can choose the one you need most for that moment/ day.
Recently, however, I read a message that did not resonate with me at all. In fact, it left me with a bitter taste in my mouth.
I read it twice, or maybe even thrice, not sure if I read it correctly. The message was the same the first time I read it, as well as the last. My eyes were not playing a trick on me. That was really what the wrapper said.
When I hear envy, I recoil. It might be because of my religious education from an early age. Envy is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Envy is defined as “the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation.” Yes, I do try to avoid sin, but aside from looking at it from a religious point of view, I look at it from the perspective of personal growth. I do not compare myself to others. I do not envy what they have. We are all different. We do not know the price they paid to get what they have. And even if it serves them, it might not be suitable for our lives. I would rather focus on my own life and what I can achieve. Looking at others just makes us bitter and resentful. Why fill ourselves with such negative emotions? If you appreciate something others have, use it to INSPIRE you. To motivate you. That is alright. But do not be envious if you are unable to get it.
If that is how I feel about envy, why would I want to inspire it in others? Why would I want them to be sinners? Why would I want them to be miserable? I am not the Devil. Also, I do not do things for others to compare themselves to. I do it for me and my loved ones.
Do you pay attention to candy wrappers?
Do you have other examples of such proverbs found in unlikely places?
How do you feel about envy?
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