Re-defining my dash this week meant thinking about how I view others. We are all different. We do not all look the same. But when you look “different” than the norm, people stare. My cheek is bruised. It is starting to heal and now it is varying colors of purple, pink, blue, and yellow. This week, as I was out and about, people stared. People stared a lot. They were probably curious as to what happened. Hey, that’s normal, right? We see someone who looks different/injured/handicapped and we want to know their story, right? Wrong! As humans, we are curious but we are also very good at distancing ourselves from someone that might make us feel a little uncomfortable because of the way they look. I might go further to say because of the way they’re dressed or the way they smell or the way they talk. As people stared at me this week, I did feel like they were judging me. This experience has given me an opportunity to do some self-analyzing. How do I respond to those who look, smell, talk, or dress differently than I do?
As children, we are very innocently honest in our little opinions of others who are different. As children will do, they sometimes vocalize thoughts that perhaps should otherwise be kept to themselves. I remember one time when son #2 (TRS) was in pre-school and I was sitting in the car with my other 3 children waiting for him to come out of class. As we waited, a woman came walking towards us on the sidewalk. The woman had a black patch over one eye. Yes, I wondered what happened! Son #3 (JMS) also saw her coming and vocalized his innocently honest thought by saying, “Look, Mommy, a lady pirate!” It was springtime and the car windows were down and no doubt this woman heard my son’s remark. The woman did not visibly react but she surely felt judged. It was an innocent remark expressed from an innocent child.
As I interacted with other shoppers in stores this past week, many did stare at me. Others smiled if I actually looked them in the eye and smiled first. During this whole week only one person, that I did not already know, asked about the bruise, the technician performing my mammogram! I was naked from the waist up so why wouldn’t she ask, right? This supports my aforementioned theory that we as humans usually DON’T want to get “involved” by asking someone about what happened. We, me included, typically just want to go our merry way without concern of others we may encounter. We live in a very “don’t ask-don’t get involved” society. Sometimes all someone might need is a smile or a nod of the head, just to let them know we don’t think they are strange or weird. In the final analysis, we are more alike than we are different. We are all God’s children…no matter what we look like, smell like, dress like, or talk like. HE loves us all. We should take our cue from Him. So the next time you see someone with a bruised face, smile first!
As a side note, while having my van serviced, my hubby (MRS) came into the customer waiting room and said, “Hi gorgeous!” Since nobody else was in the room at the time, I claimed the compliment hoping it was for me, bruised cheek and all!