One day I was in the office chit-chatting with one of my co-workers. She began to tell me a story in which she had been called fat. I was immediately annoyed. She explained:
” We were watching a video of me playing my violin. As I was bringing attention to one of my favorite parts, I was interrupted by “you look fat ! “
I CRINGED! As my coworker was bringing attention to her talent someone else had brought attention to her weight. My eyes weld up with tears and the moment she asked “are you ok Shakia?” the tears left my eyes and found a home on my cheeks. I was so upset because not only have I witnessed this co-workers struggle with weight loss, but I can only imagine the impact that 3 lettered, one word had on her self -esteem in that moment. I can imagine wanting to be invisible as everyone’s attention was no longer focused on your talent, but now on your weight.
When a person points out another person’s “flaw” I often wonder what is their purpose? Like what do they expect the person to say? I mean I’m sure that person was fully aware of that “flaw” before it was pointed out to them. Do they want them to confirm the observation by agreeing? In my co-workers case was she supposed to respond “why yes, I do look fat.” Do they want them to laugh? Or maybe they just want them to feel bad about themselves.
Where is that filter, that empathy, that compassion that we all possess? Or at least I would like to think we all do. Oh, I guess we have lost it all in the right to freedom of speech. I think, we, as a people have become desensitized while exercising our right to freedom of speech. However, just because you are “free” to say what you please does NOT give you the freedom to diminish someone’s self-esteem.
Do me a favor; better yet do society a favor. The next time you want to share your opinion on how someone’s looks, smells, sounds, feels (taste doesn’t fit lol. At least in my head it doesn’t :/ ) insert a filter, muster up some empathy and find some compassion. After doing so, it is my hope that the adage “think before you speak” will cut your opinionated thoughts in line and stop them from being spoken.