Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Here's what I'm thinking

Imagine if everything you thought inside your head came out of your mouth? What if it does and you just can't hear it? Wouldn't that be a hoot?

Children tend to say what they think. Two cases in point recently:

Son: "WOW! She's a super, super, skinny, skinny person."

He was absolutely right. She was. And so skinny it looked like an illness and was hard not to notice. She was also our cashier and I had to stand there in horror as she continued to ring up our items after he shouted out his thoughts about her tiny frame.

Daughter: "Mommy...is that...?"

Me: "No honey, it's not."

I knew what she was going to say because every young, fair-skinned black man in a suit is now Barack Obama in her eyes. Every one. He's everywhere.

But it got me thinking about the innocence of my children and the fact that it is up to me to teach them what is appropriate to say and what is not. We've talked alot about how the world is made up of different ages, shapes, sizes and colors and how cool that is - because if we were all the same it would be realllly boring in our world.

But what if you could live your life without ever having those skewed thoughts in the first place, so you never had to worry about what was going to come out of your mouth? I don't think enough of us remember, or care to remember, that we all share this small planet and a human being is a human being regardless of the external factors that set us apart.

I think this holiday season brings to mind how fortunate I feel to have been raised to accept any and all that enter my world. And I may not become best friends or even lasting acquaintances with many of the people I meet, but nowadays it's nice to have a light conversation and smile with all shapes and sizes, colors and genders, fortunate and less fortunate - because the way our world is changing lately the only thing that can keep us moving forward is the fact that we need each other to overcome. Villages can't be rebuilt and strengthened by just one person.

So, instead of keeping your head down while you are out and about this holiday season, be sure to keep it up and say "Hello" to the cashiers working long hours. Your neighbors whose names you may not know. The strangers at the gym, at the mall, at the grocery store. The mailman, UPS driver, FedEx guy. The police officer, small child, tired Mommy or Daddy at daycare. The high school kid at Starbucks pouring coffee, the waitress and the waiter. The teachers, firemen, and co-worker you hardly know. Say "Hello" to an old friend, new friend, or best friend. To the young man collecting grocery carts in the parking lot, or the delivering that pizza after a long day of your own. Just say "Hello" this time of year and don't ignore the human beings that surround you. But remember, if you have an inappropriate thought, keep it to yourself.

3 comments:

Reff said...

OMG. I am famous in my family for the first time I ever saw a little person as a child.

"Dad, look a midget!" My poor father was trying to ignore my exuberance; which I took to be either stupidity or blindness. To which I responded with shouts and a pointed finger,

"DAD, HE'S RIGHT THERE!
RIGHT.
IN.
FRONT.
OF.
US!"

I still hear about that one, 35 years later.

C Sierra said...

a) I love that you read my silly blog and b) why doesn't this story surprise me? :) Merry Christmas since I don't think we'll see you before the big day!

Fairly Odd Mother said...

The other day, we were leaving a doctor's appt and walked by a very large man leaned on the check in counter. As we walked by, D said (loudly), "WOW! That is one large butt!" Sigh.

But, you are right about the last paragraph. I think that some people, especially in the service industry, are so used to being ignored or marginalized that they are truly pleased when someone sees them and treats them like a human being.