Well, my Facebook Post today was about the Rapper 50 Cent who chose to tell a fan he looked “autistic” and proceeded to say he did not want any “special eds” on his timeline. Really, a person makes 8 million dollars and chooses to call some one autistic. Great role model we have in society. First of all, our son is the face of autism and if you put him in a classroom of children, you would never know. And Mr. 50 Cents would be blessed to know such an amazing child! I immediately asked Mary if she listened to him or had any of his music on her play lists. She isn’t really into rap, but if she was, it would have been removed.
I remember when Chris Brown abused his girlfriend Rhianna. Mary and her friend were in the car and his music came on. I immediately changed the station. I explained that I did not approve of what he did and would not allow his music to be promoted in our home or car. It is not okay to beat your girlfriend! It was a chance, as a parent, to step up and say it is NOT okay for someone to treat you that way! And when someone commits a crime, it should be called out and their career should be affected.
I am finding that cruelty in words or actions catches my attention. For instance, in the movie You Got Mail, which I love and watched last night, I cringe at the it the scene where Tom Hanks talks to Meg Ryan of why the guy stood her up and said maybe it is because he is fat… so fat that they have to use a crane to get him out of the house. I am also obese by medical terms. There are people who are that large and require a crane to get them out of their home. I cannot imagine what got them in that situation because it is more than food. But they are someone who has a heart! They are someone’s family!
Over the past few weeks, there have been several situations where I had to think about my words carefully. It is so easy to judge and put everyone into one category. But my children listen to how I respond to people, and if I make remarks, I am no better than 50 Cents. Here are a few instances,
- at Ohiopyle there was a woman in a VERY skimpy suit and it was NOT figure friendly, in my opinion. As we say in our home, there was too much information disclosed. Mary and I talked about it, originally not so flattering. There were many other examples, but she was right in front of us the whole time. Anyway, I said to Mary, it would be nicer for us to say “Wow, she must have some awesome self-esteem to pull that suit off. I am glad she feels comfortable with her body to wear that.” That was much better. I would not want someone sitting back busting on how I look in my suit (especially since I don’t always have a good self-esteem in it). I also would not want someone sitting back saying my daughter’s suit was not attractive. That person in the suit, has a heart… she is a human and is more than her suit.
- the same girl was with a guy that I would not have “expected”. Of course, we discussed that a little as well. I caught myself again. I am sure there are people who see me with my husband and think what is HE doing with HER? He is fit and thin and let’s just say that I am NOT! And to be honest, I don’t always feel comfortable representing him. Partly because of my own self-esteem and also because of my fear of what someone may say.
Other situations that I know are things that catch people’s attention (sometimes mine too):
- really wild hair colors or styles – again, if they choose to self-express themselves it is not up to me to judge. If they feel good in their style and color, that should be all that matters!
- tattoos and piercings – they really aren’t my choice for my body; however, if it their body. If I don’t like it, I should just look away and keep my mouth shut. I know some really incredible people with HUGE hearts who like tattoos and piercings and it would hurt me if people would say things about them based on appearance.
- Obese people – people assume they eat too much and are lazy. But, I am one of those people. I did not get here by food alone and I am not lazy. Every obese person has a story to tell and definitely has a heart attempting to be protected by the layers of fat.
People have said things to me about my weight and/or the ability to do things and it hurts. There is more to me than my weight – there is a big heart under there! I know kids have said things to/about Mary, including her name, her height, her glasses, and even her brains! She is an awesome young lady and there is a big heart in there that hurts with mean words! I have heard people say things about Samuel and his quirks, his food choices, and his inability to do things. He is an amazing little man and people who know him are blessed by him. It scares me for the day he realizes people are mean, because it hurts me when I hear them!
So, when I judge people and make comments, I send a message to my children that it is okay. I also step to the level of people like, 50 Cents, by generalizing people and making comments about them. I need to prepare to choose my words to build people up and not tear them down. This includes complete strangers and friends. Who am I to judge a stranger when I don’t even know their heart! My children need to hear me speak wisely and avoid words that would hurt someone’s heart if I said it to their face. My children hear me and my Heavenly Father hears me. This world is cruel enough without my added comments. In our home, our children will not use words that tear others down, such as retarded, stupid, dumb, ugly, fat, etc. They should be considered “cuss” words in anyone’s home. When they are used at home safely it will be easier for the words will travel into the public life. People they are referring to with the words have hearts too! Just as 50 Cent’s comment hurt me because our son is autistic, the people I criticize are someone’s daughter/son, brother/sister, etc.. My dad always taught us, if you have nothing nice to say then say nothing at all – there are times I need to prepare to be SILENT and teach my children the same thing!