Treating People Like Pesticides

So I spent all day yesterday studying for my exam which is required in my new tentmaking position. I was reading all about pesticide laws, protective equipment, governmental oversight, properly-formatted labels, and the like. I’m trying to remember it all for my exam with the Department of Agriculture in a couple of weeks.

I was deeply engrossed in the chapter on “Pesticides and the Environment,” sorting out all of the terms I needed to keep in mind…

  • Solubility
  • Adsorption
  • Persistence
  • Degradation
  • Volatility
  • Vapor drift
  • Toxicity
  • Particle drift
  • Permeability

…and all of sudden it hit me how specifically each pesticide is treated. When you take into account the active and inactive ingredients, the concentrations, the particle sizes, the atmospheric conditions at the time of application, along with all of the factors I just listed above, it’s almost as though each pesticide application is unique.

We consider all of these factors for a chemical, yet we are so quick to put people into well-defined boxes with nice, neat labels:

  • “Well, you know, his parents were…”
  • “Of course she’s a…”
  • “I wouldn’t trust him because he…”
  • “Didn’t you know? She once was a…”

Neat labels that keep people in their place. Yet God says every person is unique. What if we took enough time to get to know people—I mean really get to know them. I think the more we know about others, the less likely it is we’ll put them in one of our convenient boxes.

Here’s what I’m thinking about today: Do I want others to neatly label me? Or do I want to be treated as a unique individual? What if I treated people as carefully and with as much attention to the fine details as I must with my pesticides? Hmm, treating people like pesticides: not a bad idea.

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