genuine chocolate flavoring

EmPulse for Week of January 31, 2011

genuine chocolate flavoring

Some things just don’t ring true, do they? Jumbo shrimp. Authentic reproductions. Fresh frozen. A definite maybe. Resident alien. Sanitary landfill. Working vacation. And my favorite— genuine chocolate flavoring. Not genuine chocolate, but genuine chocolate flavoring. Why!?! What makes it genuine? Is the chocolate genuine, or is it the flavoring that is? Why not Genuine Chocolate Syrup!? No, just chocolate flavoring. That just doesn’t ring true.

Too much of our lives are saturated with things that are almost authentic…; but not quite. Baking Soda Biscuits…, mostly pure. as Garrison Keillor often says. We have grown accustomed to accepting artificial ingredients, allowing for white lies, and settling for half-truths as if “the whole truth” really doesn’t matter anymore. (Truthiness, remember?) We live in those grey areas of our business practices because everybody does it. We even fashion our own “Designer Religion” to fit our fancy (Utne Reader).

All this casual acquiescence compromises our adherence to any ethical standard other than the ones we set to soothe our own conscience and to stifle that inner voice that condemns us of wrong-doing. What’s wrong with us? Have we lost our sense of right & wrong for the bottom line? Have we lost our commitment to commitment in lieu of a passing trifle? Or has compromise become the acceptable maxim of our era? It’s not about “robbing Peter to pay Paul.” Rather, we ignore what the writers of Christian Scripture Peter and Paul had to say altogether. Why? Because it makes us uncomfortable and lessens our pleasure during our forages into the edges of depravity. Corruption feels so good—especially when you can get away with it and nobody knows.

True, responsible citizenship is based on the right of each individual to stand up and be counted, to make a difference in the things that matter, and to live for what we believe in corporately, as human beings. The right to pursue a livelihood, to earn an honest wage. The right to care about the needs of others. The right to privacy, solitude, and, with adequate forethought, the responsibility of free speech. We have been designed by our Holy Creator God to make positive contributions to this world, to raise our young to accountable adulthood, and to be just in our dealings with ALL others, of whatever faith or politic.

We are called to be forgiving when wronged, merciful in places of power, and trusting first, extending a hand of friendship to any who ask.

These are not vain platitudes. They are principles by which all of us must live if we are to survive our own human race. Our predilection to judge and condemn, to shoot first and ask questions later, to accuse rather than to understand, is a roaring beast that growls within our breasts far too freely. It’s time we all take a look at our own souls, to see what animosities and anger we harbor that gnaws away at our hearts and grinds down our moral underpinnings. It is time we decide to stick to the moral principles that make this world a better place in which to live. It is time we reasserted our right to be committed to something, someone, a code of behavior, a spouse, or a family, even to God. It is time we plead the case for those less fortunate, both in our courts and in our daily practice of giving.

Genuine chocolate flavoring. What good is it? Why not go for the real thing? Become the real thing, as a man or woman of the twenty-first century. REAL Chocolate Syrup, REAL whipped-cream…, and a cherry! Now that’s something to believe in! You do get the point…, right!?!

Have a nice week,


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