"Doesn't Sherry look like she's gained weight?" "Wow, Steven isn't aging well." "That's interesting, Diane drives a Honda. For some reason, I always thought she had money." "Do you think Tina had work?" "Oh, he went to ABC College? I thought he was smart." "He's a janitor. He seemed so much smarter."
Okay, so I am in no way saying that I've never made a comment about anyone. . .ever. Let's start there. However, I have, through various experiences in my life, realized that wasting time noticing things about other people is kinda pointless. And that sometimes we have to leave our shallow observations and perceptions at the door, and work on ourselves. After we assess the situation in our heads and then make the judgement, we may want to ask ourselves more questions; like, what if Sherry has a thyroid problem? or what if Steven is going through a rough time in life? or what if Diane experienced a financial crisis and now believes that she doesn't need to spend money for show? or what if Tina just has great genes?
Now whether or not Sherry has a thyroid problem does not negate the fact that she's gained weight; however I'm hoping that we might begin to have a little more sensitivity to what people are going through AND think "who cares?" so we can take a look inward. And, my hope is that we don't take the liberty to post it or Tweet it. Why? Because, when the tables are turned, we know how awful it feels to be on the firing line. But if you can dish it, you should be able to take it. Can you? Do you regularly make mention of people's flaws, shortcomings, and mistakes? Would you feel comfortable with people making mention of yours? What is your point for bringing it up in the first place?
I'm not suggesting that we should never communicate about tough issues. If you're a husband whose wife has gained a lot of weight and it has left you physically unattracted to her, you should find a way to say it. . .TO HER ONLY. If you have a friend who looks like they are aging and stressed, certainly ask if they are okay. You don't have to mention that they look old. Except for the instances where you are trying to help, I'm a little confused about what the point is of mentioning people's flaws. Okay, so I'm not really confused. Somewhere I know, although I don't want to, that people mention it, tweet it and post it because it makes them feel better about themselves.
If someone takes notice, out loud, about the one ounce of fat on Beyonce that they didn't notice before, it could be because it somehow makes them feel better about the 20 ounces they have on them. Guess what? Whether it is make up, special effects or Beyonce's hardcore gym workouts, they still have 20 ounces of fat that makes them unhappy. Fix it and stop wasting time looking at her. If someone notices, out loud, why people are the way they are, it could be because the person doesn't fit into their "normal" category. Guess what? That's the point of living YOUR truth. It's unique to you and should not fit into the "normal" category. Work out your own gift.
If people are going to sit around talking about all the things that people are or aren't, then after the session is done, I encourage them to turn the mirror around and take a look. Once you start working on your own "issues", it gives you much less time to focus on other people's.
If you dish it, please make sure you can take it.
Live compassion. Live true!