people

Pass It On

This morning while shopping at my local grocery store, I encountered an employee who was the epitome of how we all should be acting these days. What he did wasn’t a grand display or over the top gesture that caught my attention, it was simply a “good morning” and a genuine smile that you could tell that it began from within him and radiated out to the world. That was it. We had no other interaction, other than my returning the smile and reply of “good morning” to him as well. But in that brief moment, it was a ray of sunshine, in a rather normal day of running mundane errands.

Such a simple thing changed my outlook for the day. I, in turn, greeted everyone else that I came in contact with in the store in that same manner. Expecting nothing in return, just passing along a simple greeting and a smile. And you know what, everyone I met, did the same.

Imagine what the world be like if we chose to practice such simple acts of kindness every day.

This Is My Voice

I am a writer, this is my voice and I’m going to use it. I will not tolerate bullies. I will not tolerate hate. I will not tolerate discrimination.

I will not be silent. I will not sit idly by on the sidelines and watch. I will call you out if I see or hear it coming from your mouth, your page, your actions.

To everyone, can we please return to a civil society and respectful discussions? Instead of gloating, boasting, disparaging, and name calling, can we respect one another, agree to disagree, and move forward? Enough with the meme’s, the “let me help you pack” statements, the name-calling because of one’s appearance, it’s not funny, it never was.

It all comes down to one thing, respect.

If you want to have a discussion, where we engage in a sharing of ideas, without name calling or raised ires, then I’m here. Let’s talk.

If you are going to shout at me that I am wrong and you are right, I’m not going to listen. And you certainly won’t change my mind with that sort of behavior.

This is my voice and I’m going to use it.

How Rude

I am always amazed at how rude some people can be.

First example happened at my local gym. There was a woman in the locker room who decided this was a good place to take a phone call. While she was on the phone, she walked back to the area where the toilet stalls are located. She continued her conversation back there, when someone, yes, flushed the toilet. When this person walked out, the first woman stopped her phone call and said to the person exiting said stall “can’t you see I’m on the phone?” Okay, there are so many things wrong with this, but I couldn’t believe she had the audacity to think this, much less say it out loud. First of all, the woman already in the stall had no idea that the other woman was on the phone (the doors are not see through for a reason). Second, why on earth would you take a call in a locker room and then walk around, especially back to the area where the toilets and showers are located.  And why would she think that a toilet is more mobile than a phone? Um, hello, but use your brain, say to the caller “excuse me for a moment, I’m in the locker room, let me go outside so we can talk unimpeded” if the call is that important that you must take it at that exact moment. The world does not revolve around you, nor should you expect it to.

The next example hits closer to home. As a parent of a girl adopted from China I have encountered many people who feel it’s okay to ask me the most personal of questions. Or make assumptions about my child bearing capabilities. The fact that I’m even writing that sentence is a sad commentary on peoples manners these days.

I would have people say, “oh, I’m so sorry you couldn’t have a child of your own.” Or “how much did she cost?” “You know, there are treatments that you or your husband could try.” And the kicker “how can you love her, she’s not really your own child.” And what made it that much worse was they would ask in front of my daughter, not taking in to account that she has ears, she can hear what they are saying. Now at the age of two maybe she couldn’t understand the question, but as she got older and we would still get asked these questions, she began to wonder and then ask me what these people meant.

Most of the time I would just look at them in bewilderment, astounded that they could even formulate these ideas, much less speak them into existence. On occasion I would think not nice words in my head and then politely responded with an “oh, okay” and walk away. Then there were a few times, when my daughter wasn’t around, my sarcastic side would take over and I would ask them about their financial situation or sex life or any other completely inappropriate question just to see how they would respond. That usually shut down the conversation pretty quickly.

I admit, there were those people that were asking because they genuinely wanted to know and understand the entire international adoption process. And you could tell that they weren’t meaning to be rude, they simply were trying to engage in a conversation. But that was a small percentage of the people. The rude ones, well it was like meeting a real life troll. Maybe it made them feel better about themselves to put others down. Maybe this is just what they were taught and they didn’t know any better. Maybe it was just their prejudice and ignorance showing. I don’t know. But it broke my heart, every time. The fact that someone could think that I didn’t love my daughter just as much as they loved their own child, just because I didn’t go through what they thought of as the normal the physical of having a baby, astounded me and still does to this day.

So on behalf of all adoptive families out there, please, if you want to ask us about it, think before you speak. Actually, that really should just be the rule that we all follow in any given situation. The world would be a much better place.