Warning: Reading This Could Change Your Life · 5 May 2012

Warning labels seem to be on everything these days. Some are obviously necessary like the Surgeon General warnings on tobacco products. Some are ludicrous like the ones on cups saying that hot drinks are hot. Some are just ignored (or draw people to them) like the ones on video games, music, and movies. I know I ought not suggest it, but there are some pieces of literature that ought to have warning labels on them. The Bible and my blog are two.

Besides being the holy book of the Judeo-Christian world, The Bible is an important piece of world history and literature. A few years ago, I heard a student say his teacher would not let him read The Bible for English class because it was non-fiction and they were reading novels. Another year, I overheard a senior saying he wanted to read it someday because of its place in both history and literature. Both of these students and their stories showed me again how important The Bible is to world culture. But the comment from Jeffrey, the senior who said he wanted to read it someday, stayed with me for quite some time.

Jeffrey was talking to another senior during Track and Field practice when he commented about wanting to read The Bible as a piece of literature. I overheard the comment and could not get it out of my head. So as I shook his hand when he left my class for the last time as my student (I try to shake all my seniors’ hands on their last day), I addressed his comment from his conversation I overheard.

“Be careful.” He looked at me quizzically. Then, I continued, “If you read The Bible with an open mind, it will change your life.”

He smiled and simply replied, “I know.”

It was as if Jeffrey wanted to read The Bible, but knew it had power and truth between its covers. And he was not ready to have those truths revealed. I had thought about the warning label concept when I overheard his conversation, but I never realized it was more than just a silly though until I said goodbye to Jeffrey. Until he sighed, resigned to the fact that either he would never read this important piece of history and literature that has greatly affected the course of the world or that he would be changed because he did read it.

I was astounded that I had discovered something so profound with a simple warning.

My blog is not so profound very often. Nor does it have questionable content that might offend people (unless subjects such as bodily noises or functions are offensive). Nor will reading it change people’s lives. But still, it ought to have some sort of warning. The warning should be that my writing is not always polished. That it does not follow a theme except that I muse about what I want to muse about. And that it is not always funny or profound or even interesting. In other words, my warning to readers should be that I am a rambler as much as I am a muser and often, I am not very good at it. Of course, I do say something to that effect on my about page. But it is not really a warning. Maybe it ought to be.

I know it is a stretch to call what I do on my blog literature. And it is ludicrous to compare it to The Bible. But they both really ought to have warning labels. (Maybe more people would read them if they did.) After all, reading one might confuse or baffle people. Reading the other could change their lives. Both of these possible effects probably warrant warning labels.

© 2012 Michael T. Miyoshi

Share on facebook


Commenting is closed for this article.