Sitting at Fazoli’s enjoying some spaghetti when I look out the window to the fast food place next door. The sign said, “Try Our New Santa Sandwich”.
I came here for a quiet lunch to relax. Reading this sign has me riled. A Santa Sandwich? When it’s 98 degrees outside?
Last year I saw some stores putting Christmas stuff out in late August. Is there no end to this race to be the first store open on Yuletide Street? A Santa Sandwich in July? And isn’t the idea of a Santa sandwich a bit disturbing? Did Santa come up with the recipe and it’s named after him? Because if it’s really a “Santa” sandwich then are we eating…? No. It couldn’t be that.
A Christmas sandwich in July. Why bother having seasons anymore? Let’s do sparklers and fireworks on St. Patrick’s Day. How about hearts and flowers and chocolates on Flag Day? And turkey makes for a good dinner anytime so let’s do Thanksgiving in the spring. We could do Easter at the same time. Oyster stuffing, cranberry sauce and green bean casserole with speckled malted milk balls and chocolate bunnies. Yum!
A Santa sandwich in July. Is there no shame? Is there no end to blatant commercialization? Is nothing sacred anymore? I’ve got a great idea. This could be the hot new business idea of the year. Since everyone keeps pushing Christmas backward on the calendar why not open a store called “Holidays 24/7/365” ? We’ll sell everything for every holiday on every day of the year. New Year’s, Valentines, Arbor Day, Easter, 4th of July, the works. Imagine, on Black Friday you could buy everything in one shot. A Santa sandwich in July will become just as normal as Memorial Day flags in August.
A Santa sandwich in July. That’s just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.
I finished my lunch and stood up to leave.
It says, “Try Our New Santa Fe Sandwich”.
That changes everything now, doesn’t it?
Aside from the fact that I’m a dork, the point remains.
Context is everything.
If what you’re looking at, be it in a book or in the face of the person you’re communicating with, doesn’t make sense then you must keep reading.
It’s not Santa hawking sandwiches in summertime. It’s Arby’s telling people to try their new southwest flavor. Big difference.
If I’d have leaned in one more inch, I’d have seen all the words. I’d have had all the information. It would have made sense. Because I didn’t lean in to fully understand I went into full rant for nothing.
At least it was a sign and not a person. How many times have we acted on incomplete information? How many times have we formed opinions of others without all the facts? Worse, how many times have we shared those ill-informed opinions with others, causing them to hold baseless judgments against another?
When communicating with others, let’s lean in to understand. Make sure we are reading, and hearing, the full message. The presence or absence of one small word can make all the difference.
In my case, the difference between Santa in the summer and chipotle sauce on a sandwich.
Context is everything. If in doubt, be it a sign or a book or a person…
“Spouting off before listening to the facts is both shameful and foolish.”
– Proverbs 18:13
Todd A. Thompson – August 2, 2013