Lessons From a Chocolate Cake (Or Labels Revisited)

This is a chocolate cake:

chocolate cake

This is a gluten free chocolate cake: (hint, it’s the same cake)

chocolate cake

This is a gluten free chocolate cake after I took it to the thing I baked it for and nobody wanted to eat it because it was gluten free:

chocolate cake after

(Obviously, the people at my table all ate the chocolate cake.)

Here’s the thing. I didn’t set out to bake a gluten free chocolate cake. It so happens that my most chocolatey chocolate cake recipe is gluten free. It also so happens that I am happier and healthier when on a gluten- and dairy-free diet. So I am always mindful that other people might also prefer the gluten free option. Or put another way, people who can’t eat gluten might be relieved to know that there was a chocolate cake on the table they could eat.

But sometimes, we miss the point of the label.

So an entire room full of people missed out on a delicious chocolate cake because they thought gluten free meant dry and unfulfilling (which is how I feel about many of the Victoria sponge cakes I have eaten in my life, but that’s another story). A label that was meant to be inclusive (i.e. allowing those on a gluten-free diet to partake) ended up effectively eliminating the cake as an edible option. (Not that I’m complaining – it meant Little Person could have a piece).

Let’s not do the same thing in our lives. Let’s not limit our opportunities because they come with labels we don’t expect.

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