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Monday, March 5, 2012

Sticks and Stones

I've been surfing tonight.  Not on water, of course, but on the web.  I'm a bit discouraged at something I'm noticing.  I've seen it before - many times.  But it seems to be bothering more tonight.  "I lost weight on my own...without surgery."  

On my own.  Without surgery.  Why are those words needed?  I mean, congratulation for losing weight!  That's fantastic!  Really it is!!  I'm happy for you.  What an accomplishment!  Do I care if you had surgery or not?  No.  I'm just genuinely happy that you've been able to take control of your eating habits - however worked for you.  So should I be any less excited for the person who lost weight through gastric bypass surgery?  Am I less of a "success" if I use gastric bypass surgery as my tool to a healthy life?  I don't understand why surgery has such a negative stigma clinging to it.  I don't understand the people who say, "Well, I'd lose weight too if I took the easy way out."  or "Surgery is cheating." or any of the bazillion other comments like that on the web.

Maybe I'm hypersensitive to words.  But words can cause a lot of pain.  As kids we're taught the rhyme: "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."  Lie!  Hurtful words are often much more painful and take longer to heal.  I can guarantee you that most (if not all) obese people have fallen victim to words that have caused some deep wounds - even if they weren't obese at the time the words were used against them.  Some still carry scars from childhood way into their adult lives.  Sure, we're not kids any more and we should have "thick skin" about some subjects.  But can't we, as a society, really just be more selective in what we say?  I'm not talking about being politically correct.  I'm talking about being nice.  It's as simple as that.  Be nice to people.  Is it necessary to put down, belittle, or demean others?  Are we (as adults) above bullying?  Not always.  And it's never ok to use words as arsenal against children.  Unfortunately, I've done that...and have had to go back and apologize to my kids.  It's an awful feeling when I know that I've let words spew from my mouth that truly hurt my children's feelings or make them feel less than the fearfully and wonderfully made person that God created.  I can't take back the words once they've left my mouth, but I can apologize and admit the fact that I did not respond appropriately.  I'm not too "grown-up" to admit that I was wrong.

When the boys start arguing, more specifically name calling, I can almost guarantee you that you would hear this:

Me:  "Hey!  Words are suppose to..."
Boys:  "Lift up"
Me:  "Not..."
Boys:  "Tear Down"

I wish people understood the impact that their words had on others - no matter what the subject.  Words are powerful weapons.  They can lift up or they can tear down. 

This is hanging on our wall as a reminder of a lot of good advice for our family.  

"I praise you [God] because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." ~Psalm 139:14

1 comment:

  1. So true, Sister! Surgery is NOT cheating. It's a tool - just like diet meds, weight watchers, etc. You still have to change how and what you eat. You still have to make that decision to eat healthy. And yes, words do hurt. They can leave little holes, like putting a nail in a board. You can take the nail out, but the hole remains. You have found the way to fill those holes - with God's love - and share that with all those around you. Don't let ignorant people diminish your self-worth. You are choosing to use the TOOL that will work for you. And I am proud of you and happy for you!

    Love you so much