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Recalls, My Struggle with Smugness and Wisdom

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ImageSo I’m not a big fan of karma. At least in theory, that’s what I tell myself. Just last week in Sunday School the middle school class I was helping with was discussing why God wants us to forgive our enemies and those we hate and how holding onto hate and waiting for the bad thing to come back to bite the so-called enemy or class bully or unreasonable boss is wrong. Makes perfect sense! Amen!

Fast forward two days. I see this story: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/01/peanut-butter-recall/1606511/ about an expanded peanut butter recall. For the record, I’m definitely against people being sickened. Max was one of the minority of kids who outgrew his peanut and tree nut allergies. (See Our Journey) Peanut butter and jelly is his standard lunch. The first thing I did was double check to make sure our brand wasn’t part of this recall.

Still, it’s hard not to read the inevitable comments that will follow this story, the outrage that a seemingly wholesome food like peanut butter could hurt someone, and not feel a little smug. For parents of kids with food allergies that realization is second nature. Helping our kids avoid the so-called wholesome foods that are more like poison when you are allergic to them is an every-day, every-meal struggle. For a few minutes, when the parents of the non-allergic children are running to check their shelves to see if their jar of peanut butter is safe, I like to think that some people that maybe didn’t get it before are, however briefly, getting it.

That this lesson often goes right over many of those people’s heads probably should be the first clue that I’m on the wrong track in my thinking. I know many parents do totally get food allergies even without a personal experience with them. They are compassionate and helpful without needing any outside experience to see the light. In fact, I often feel blessed that Max and I are surrounded by so many of them. If I were wiser, I would be thankful for them instead of waiting for these rare “see now you know” gotcha-like moments of food recalls to make my point to the others. I’m working on being wiser!

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One response »

  1. I understand where you are coming from…if only people understood the fear parents with children with food allergies undergo on a daily basis, if people were only able to walk in our shoes for one day with food restrictions…perhaps there would be more compassion/empathy/understanding. I like to think so but unfortunately, in our world of food allergies there is no cheating…a reality most often misunderstood by the general population. How often would I hear, “Oh just give him a little…you can see he wants some…how can it hurt?” Plenty in our world thanks!

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