Remember the witch in the Snow White story? She was always concerned with her image. Her magic mirror started a whole personal war when she asked, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” The mirror wishing to be totally politically correct answered that the witch was truly beautiful, but there was one who was the fairest of them all. Sadly, for the witch, she wasn’t the one. It was Snow White. Thus, a personal war began that involved dwarves, poison apples, a coma of endless sleep, and thankfully a prince who saved the day. What a difference a day can make.
Image is seen as being the true driving force of everything. Popular thinking seems to be that women should be beautiful no matter how difficult it may be as the signs of aging begin to creep in. The saying, “beauty is more than skin deep,” seems to be forgotten. One might ask, “Does it matter whether a person is selfish or gracious?” What happened to grace and thoughtfulness as opposed to rudeness and self-serving?
By the same token of thinking, it would seem that men should work out and obtain bulging muscles. Men should be so attractive that they can sell salad dressing, or yogurt, with inviting smiles and attentive eyes. The days of taste and smell in food have passed on with the skill of home cooking.
Some companies have gone for the cute looks of animals that seem to be smarter than their human actor counterparts. Smart little lizards take the limelight and ducks squawk their messages. Sometimes the animals are real images of beautiful horses pulling carriages or fish that jump across a span of water.
It would seem that images sell. The question is, “do they over-ride the message.” I was thinking about this when I passed several road signs with definite messages. One proclaimed how much we are loved. Another said, “live like this is your last day because it may well be.” I wondered if the owners of this sign really meant to give the image of their establishment that the message gave me. On the positive side, we should enjoy every day of life as a gift. Seeing the glass half full instead of half empty effects our productivity, attitude toward simple things, our health and our relationships with one another.
If we look through glasses of negativity, we become anxious. Mole hills become mountains. Friends could become enemies. Families can be broken and we might become useless to ourselves and others. Our image changes like a beautiful budding flower that shrivels, dries and dies.
The message on the sign left me with another thought. Somehow it sounded threatening. We all know that there are no guarantees in life. Some lives are short and others are long. The day it ends is only known by a higher power than ours. The image of that message seemed to be saying, “this is a warning- you might not see tomorrow.” What a negative thought that was.
The sad truth of the whole thing seemed to be that the message was sending an image of exclusiveness and selectiveness. Considering the use of the facility that displayed the sign, it seemed that a hopeful and loving message would have been much better. “What if there was no future?” The great thing for me is that I know better. The evidence is all around us. In this life or the next, there is absolute hope. It would seem that the message of that hope would be a great image.
Sue Hendrick lived in Diboll for several years. Although she now resides in Lufkin, Diboll will always be her East Texas home.