Recently, I purchased a loaf of gluten free bread for just under $8 US. (It was an extra large loaf. The standard size is close to $5 in my region.) The design of the packaging makes it so that the contents are difficult to examine prior to purchase. The bread is usually frozen as a means of preservation. When I attempted to remove 2 slices, the perfectly shaped product broke in half revealing a thought provoking reality.
I was a bit frustrated with myself this week as I’d fallen off my self-imposed blogging duties. I missed Marketing Monday (opens new window/tab), as well as Truthful Tuesday (opens new window/tab) and Writing Wednesday (opens new window/tab). Here we are on Thoughtful Thursday (page jump) with First World Problems Friday (page jump) looming on my calendar. Then I realized, this image can serve as inspiration for 3 posts! Click the day listed above to skip to whatever is of interest or prepare to scroll like a madman. Forewarned is forearmed: Reading a Friday post on a Thursday may cause dizziness, blurred vision and vomiting. Go on, you rebel!
At some point in time, America was referred to as the “breadbasket of the world.”
It was a literal and figurative description. The country was a significant global agricultural power. We were exporting like crazy because we had great yields of high quality grain. Our economy allowed us to do business in various ways with other countries. America assisted a lot of countries financially. Other countries have improved their agricultural methods considerably. We no longer export as much grain. Our industrial innovation has stalled. The job market has….. well, let’s not get too depressing.
We are still an important country in the world. Many people who live in island paradises nearby say if America catches a financial cold, then they get the flu. We still assist other countries and the value of our dollar remains influential on a global level. But the people, the ones who make up the country, are not satisfied.
There’s something about the bread in this picture that makes me think the loaf is a bit like America. It looks perfect from the outside, but something went wrong and it ended up being far less than intended. Those who don’t look beyond the surface, can’t see it. Maybe the hole represents our national debt. Maybe it’s the discord within our population. It reminds me of what happens when a culture focuses on materialistic icons of status and wealth while ignoring the value of integrity, collaboration, and unity. A good portion of Americans carry a designer purse with nothing inside of it. I mean that literally and metaphorically. Our food choices are loaded with calories and lacking nutrients. We have all these time saving conveniences and can’t figure out where we stashed the bank of extra minutes. In many ways things look great, but we all feel like something is missing. Is it our attitude? Are we staring at the gaping hole and pretending it isn’t there? Are we looking and desperately medicating ourselves so we can only see the half of the bread that is available? Have we been telling ourselves we’ll be happy and satisfied if we just eat the whole loaf even though it’s full of air? Should we be looking only at the bread that is there and feel happy and enthusiastic about it? (That’s for the cup is half full folks! You’re welcome.) Maybe the metaphorical answer was addressed a bit in marketing Monday. Maybe we need to see the bread for what it is: Lacking and in need of refined processes. Maybe we need to look at our mistakes and correct our course. Or we could just make toast, slather some jam on it, smile sweetly and eat it.
What do you think? Is America missing something? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or comment.
First World Problems Friday:
Americans, always complaining about their posh, gluten free life….spending $8 on bread.
(Sure gluten bothers a lot of people, but you can be gluten free and not eat sandwich bread. Land of the free! Home of the brave AND the diabetic, obese, dementia and cancer &autoimmune disease-ridden people with skyrocketing rates of developmentally disabled children. ‘Murica!)
Feel free to send your complaints and letter bombs dusted with whole wheat flour to email@example.com or comment.