Walking in their shoes
We’ve all heard of the phrase, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, but how many of us have ever thought about how much one phrase is worth on another person’s perception of themselves, their self-confidence or body image. How about how long that will stick with a person long after you've even forgotten what you said? Ladies and gentlemen, this is a serious but extremely overlooked topic that needs to be addressed. And, no matter how nice of a person we all think each of us is, from time to time everyone falls into the mindset of judging others, saying hurtful words, or maybe saying things we don’t even consider offensive but are on the receiving end.
Let’s go back to grade 8. That awkward stage that EVERYONE has. Don’t pretend like you didn’t. It is a time where our bodies change and we are adjusting to those changes; the time where we are trying to become our own person. Well, in grade 8 I heard through the grapevine someone at school referred to me as a “butterface”. Little did I know, that meant I was cute…but my face. Gee grade 8 boys really are sweet, aren’t they? Today is my 22nd birthday and I still have not forgotten that despite feeling confident about my appearance.
Now think back to your own life. How many times have you ever commented on someone’s appearance – their weight, clothes, hair? We all have done it, myself included. But it doesn’t mean it is right. Unless that person brings up these topics and is seeking advice, who are we to judge? Unless you are the person being talked about, you will never understand the reasoning for the way they dress, look, or whatever. Who knows the home life they have and their story.
The best rule of thumb is to flip it back onto you. How would you feel if someone stood there talking about you and discussing all of your apparent short comings? Probably not great. Remember this next time you are in a situation like this. I know I have to make myself more aware of this too. It isn’t easy. Our society is too quick to judge rather than getting to understand people and their perspective. Take the time. Judge less and learn more.
Be fierce. Be strong. Be vibrant.