I was thinking as I ate my breakfast one morning how direct and clear messages on packaging are. This crossed my mind as I looked at my container of salt. On the container it said, "Made By Nature...Packaged By Morton." I wondered about this. I know salt does come from nature and the statement did make me imagine an idyllic image of someone collecting water from the sea, letting it evaporate and then putting the salt in a container to use in their dining room table. I am pretty sure that the process that got my salt to my kitchen was not nearly so peaceful and probably much more harmful to the environment then the statement on the container would have me believe.

Today again, I was amazed by packaging. My laptop finally died and so I bought a new one. Upon opening the box and picking up the booklet contained within, I read, "Congratulations, you and your MacBook Pro were made for each other." Suddenly the purchase seemed a much more important moment in my life, not only had I purchased a new laptop, but a new love as well. Skeptically, I acknowledged the fact that I was excited and that the statement had definitely effected me. 

It makes me wonder though. What does it mean that we live in a culture where so many of the messages we receive are on packaging of products that we buy. How many are geared toward creating an emotional response and why do we let ourselves be grossly manipulated by these messages? Also, how many are untrue or omitting much of what is actually included in the product?

I am happy I have salt in my kitchen, it makes my food taste good. I am also sure that I am going to enjoy my new laptop. There are other things in my life that take greater priority over these things though. I want real connection, communication and love. I don't want a piece of electronics to be made for me in anything more than a mechanical sense of being put together so that I can use it. I wonder though what if packaging had to include the entire truth in its messages to consumers? What if it had to list who made it, how it was made, where the parts and ingredients had come from, how much energy was used in creating it and shipping it, how much waste it would leave behind when it was consumed?

I wonder how many of the things that we buy would make us feel then? Probably very different.