a better place

Last week I spoke to my therapist about some posts I'd seen on Facebook and of my subsequent negative reaction to them. The first was a photograph of a shirtless man—one I'd seen circulating before—taken from the back, his saggy jeans revealing plaid boxers. The caption said something like, did you know that sagging pants originated in jail as a sign to other inmates that they were "available" for sex? The man in the photo is black.

The other photo was of a terribly obese woman sitting on a park bench, her belly with its button sagging below the hem of her dress in what seemed obvious to me had been doctored in Photoshop. The comments to both photos turned my stomach with their biggoted, racist, small-minded and hateful ways.

I asked my therapist why (other than the fact that the first photo's supposition is totally false) their publication bothered me so much—so much that they made my heart race. We agreed one reason might be because I want to somehow make the world a better, kinder, more inclusive place.

Truly, I look around and see so much that is wrong with the world in which we live. I see vile racism seething out from under rocks or slapping me square across the face. I see a world where women are abused, insidiously and blatantly, at home, in society, in the workplace, in the military, and where misogyny and sexism wreaks from the pages of magazines, from tv serials, from movies, at the office and in schools. I see greed and corruption and selfishness and hoarding. I see those who mock people who have seizures. I see folks who claim to believe in the sanctity of life turn around and lobby for the death penalty. I see people of faith who scorn the less fortunate, despise, judge, limit freedoms and discriminate against others who are different from themselves. I see hateful images and messages like the ones on Facebook and wonder why people must be so destructive, wonder what their motivation is in spreading such toxic memos that often incite waves of loathsome, insensitive, smug comments. Then, I look deeply inside myself, sure to find regrettable thoughts and behaviors that I can work to improve.

Somewhat timidly, I commented on the photo of the obese woman in which the sharer had admitted vacillating on whether to post it. "When in doubt, don't," I wrote. To my delight, she "liked" my comment and, in doing so, I think she made the world a slightly better place.

1 comment:

  1. You often take the lead in seeing people clearly, for who they are, and acting with kindness. I admire. :)