If the things that caused you harm came with a warning, would you listen?
Last week as I stood waiting for my early morning ride to the airport from Mississauga, Canada, I looked down on the ground and saw a discarded empty du Maurier cigarette wrapper. At first, I didn’t know what I was looking at. On the label there was a picture of a pregnant woman holding a cigarette. I bent down to get a better look and realized that I was seeing something I hadn’t seen before. The makers of this brand of cigarettes had complied with Health Canada and placed a warning on the label for pregnant women. It informed them that smoking while pregnant reduced the growth of the child and that this growth reduction could lead to an increase in disabilities, illness and death.
I was amazed and grateful and then I got to thinking, what if everything that was potentially dangerous came with a warning?
What if all of the men, foods and bad outfits I’ve chosen had a label spelling out the potential risks to my health and wellbeing; Warning, potential grief, gas and gaffe.
I laughed out loud and thought of the warning signs we all see and ignore. I recalled waking up in the middle of the night with that gut feeling we all get before doing what we should not do. I thought of the delays and pushbacks that come before entering into something that I am determined to complete, just because I said I would and I recognized the warnings that I have ignored.
Even when I could not feel the threat, there have been friends and loved ones (and no they are not always the same) who are there shaking their head “no.”
It occurred to me that the warning to drink responsibly cannot work once you decide to drink. “Don’t smoke if you’re pregnant” is a hard message for a woman who was smoking before she got pregnant.
We all have heard the expression that experience is the best teacher, but it’s not the only teacher, furthermore, if someone else has had the experience, let them teach you.
What I’m saying is this; life does come with a warning label; it’s telling us to choose wisely and live well.
Be you, be well, LIVE
Bertice Berry, PhD.