My daughter-in-law Heather and my sister Kate have posted some interesting thoughts about religion and evolution on their blogs. My sister commented on how, being an atheist, she may feel more comfortable raising her daughter in a more liberal city than Spokane. Actually, I know better, she loves debating on religion, politics, or anything else worth talking about.
But her comment made me think about minorities and how they must feel when they are looked at simply by the color of their skin or some other thing that makes them "different". In some way, I think we all fit in to some kind of minority whether it be by skin color, our beliefs, our income, whatever.
You know I hate blogging without visual aides, but I just couldn't bring myself to Google a picture of "skinny" and see all those starving children in Africa. So this post will be without one.
I have always belonged to a minority but never really realized it until I started thinking about Kate's post. I am, and always have been "thin". That's a real nice way of saying "skinny". Now before you all say, "Oh how lucky you are", let me tell you how this has affected me.
Until I got pregnant for the first time, I weighed 96 lbs, and I'm 5'6" tall. Fortunately, I now weigh 110. I've had friends tell me, "When I first met you, I thought you were anorexic". Thanks for the kind words.
When I was younger, I'd walk down the sidewalk and hear people whisper as I walked by "Oh my God! Did you see how skinny she was!" and then their companion would turn around and look at me.
I can't tell you how many times I had TOTAL STRANGERS walk up to me in a store, or stop me on a street and say "Oh my God you're so SKINNY!" WTF???? I always thought to myself that no one would dream of walking up to a total stranger and say "Oh my God you're so FAT!" or "Oh my God, you're so BLACK!" I'd never stop someone and say "Oh my God, you're so UGLY!"
But yes, for some reason, it was always acceptable for people I didn't even know (and believe it or not it still happens occasionally) to comment on my weight. Thankfully, I've never taken it personally and realize that people just don't seem to understand their ignorance. Maybe this will help my family understand why I'm so "hard" (which is a kind way of saying "mean"), which I prefer to call "strong". It took me many, many years to get that way, but I guess it's how I've learned to cope and survive. I know that this is why I've never been prejudiced, why I've tried to be kinder to people with disabilites or differences, and why, above all else, I taught my kids when they were young, that no matter what, I would never tolerate them teasing or bullying other kids and that I cared more about their kindness, tolerance, and compassion for others over grades in school.
I feel like I've learned SO MUCH from my simple existence on this earth...