I recently came across some photos on the internet that tore my heart out. The photos were of a man being made fun of whilst dancing at a night club, I will not share the link as I refuse to potentially add to the influx of bullying and nastiness that this poor man has already endured. The reason for the bullying? The man was overweight and having fun – how dare he.
People can be mean, really mean and I too have experienced nastiness regarding my weight. It hurt, particularly as I had considered one of the perpetrators to be a friend. Though I believe this behavior spoke more about their character rather than my own, it still hurt – bad.
Over the past couple of weeks I feel like I’m drowning in people behaving badly and have found myself at a bit of a loss. In a business meeting last week the person I was with, openly and unashamedly vocalised racial slurs. Yes – a business meeting – I honestly nearly fell off my chair. I could not believe that someone who was holding a very high role in the corporate world would be so ignorant to think that way, let alone consider that it was OK to voice it.
I know of someone who is currently in rehab for a drug addiction. This is brave. This person had admitted not only to themselves but everyone around them that they needed help and actively sought that help by entering rehab. But not everyone has been helpful. Sadly, this person has become the target of malicious verbal attacks with some of the people around them having been quick to judge and confident in vocalizing their own opinions on the matter, which frankly is not their business to discuss. This person has been called names and has been publicly vilified by people around them who simultaneously describe them as a friend. This behavior is not friendly.
I also know of someone else who has recently self admitted to a psychological hospital for the treatment of PTSD. For years this person has lived in shame and with the constant agony of depression and anxiety. In order to gain the help they so desperately needed, this person has quite literally had to walk away from their family, friends and job in order to face the demons they have been trying to escape for years. This is brave. Again, not everyone has been overly supportive with a number of apparent “loved ones” describing this person as weak. Really people, your vicious words do nothing more than scream ignorance.
I believe that these people have shown great courage and strength in character and if I were wearing a hat I would take take it off to them. Do not listen to the haters, they are haters for a reason. I make every attempt to live my life with respect and dignity for others. I do not and will not participate in or attempt to justify nastiness in any form.
I leave you with a quote which originally stems from the 1901 autobiography of Charles Stewart.
Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people
Be nice, live and express yourself with a clean and open heart – I implore all of you to not be small but great minds.
By the way, the story of the dancing man turned out well. He received enormous support on social media and I believe a dance party was even held in his honor. Kindness, support and love that’s what it’s all about in my book. Hope it is in yours too.