No one is perfect

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A big issue for small minds | Opinion | The Seattle Times.

Syndicated columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. had an Opinion piece in the January 19, 2014 Seattle Times Sunday newspaper.  His article focuses on the cruelty that comes out of the mouths of people who feel they are obligated to point out the obvious to others.  During and after her appearance on the Golden Globes, the exceptional 30-year old actress, Gabourey Sidibe, became the target of many anonymous, and sometimes identified, Twitter trolls who decided to remind her that she’s fat.  One Tweet said she looked like the Globe in the Golden Globes; another stated that she missed the hour glass look by 10 hours.

Leonard Pitts questions when and how did this type of truly sadistic personal meanness become acceptable, even common place? “Everybody’s got something…some physical or emotional blemish measuring the distance from you to perfection.”  So why do we think it’s any of our business to criticize someone else’s imperfection?  Doing so is an act of judgment of someone about whom we know very little.

When us kids would say something cruel about someone, my dad would offer the following: "It's too bad that everyone isn't as perfect as us."
When us kids would say something cruel about someone, my dad would offer the following: “It’s too bad that everyone isn’t as perfect as us.”  Point taken.

What happened to what Mr. Pitts calls “home training” that is supposed to teach us that there are just some things you don’t say to – or about – people in a public forum?  Are these grown adults mimicking the behaviors from their upbringing, or did they just decide on their own to cut people to pieces, not caring a wit about the harm such cutting banter will have on the recipient?

Bullies – all of them.

Whether our “something” is shaped like the emotional scars of abuse, an eating disorder, physical or developmental disabilities, bad teeth, or a nose that is too big, too fat,or too small, no one has a right to inflict hurt on us by their words.  Does hurting someone with words serve to downplay our own imperfections and/or personal issues?  Does a person actually feel better after they’ve called someone a tub of lard, or uglier than sin, or dumber than a doornail?

I’ll leave you with Nobel Peace Prize winner, Eli Wiesel’s statement during an interview with Oprah Winfrey a couple years back.  May it be a challenge to me, and a challenge to you.

As a human race, we must choose between: the violence of adults, and the smiles of children; the ugliness of hate, and the will to oppose it; inflicting suffering and humiliation on our fellow man, and offering him the solidarity and hope he deserves for naught.

Even in darkness, it is possible to create light and encourage compassion.  Every moment of our life is essential; every gesture is essential.  Our role in life is to give an offering to each other.

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