Sunday, February 23 2014
Being a good example
Excuse me while I toot my own horn, but as the parent of a child with special needs I have realized that my thick skin is one of my best qualities. I refuse to let uneducated people ruin my day.
In my opinion, becoming upset by a rude comment from a stranger in front of my son is setting a bad example for him. I choose to move on after a rude comment because I want my son to learn as he grows up that letting other people bring you down is your own choice. I choose to use the rude comment as fuel for my fire to teach and raise awareness.
I got my first taste of ignorance last night. This man is lucky I have very thick skin. This situation could have turned ugly if the wrong person had overheard an uneducated comment like this.
We had just arrived at a restaurant for dinner. As we arrived, some of the people who enjoyed happy hour (a little too much) were leaving. I was holding Jax so he was facing away from me, because he likes to look around. I was putting his coat in the diaper bag and a couple walked by us. I have very good hearing and heard their “private” conversation as they walked by:
Woman: Look at that baby wearing glasses.
Man: Yeah, what’s up with that? Fake!
His tone implied that I was the jackass for trying to make my baby look like a hipster. I smiled, shook my head, and went on with my business. This situation reminded me of the reason why awareness is so important.
Actions Have Consequences
Understanding and being aware of the consequences of my actions is important in situations like these. Raising awareness about anything with hostility is not going to make a very good impression on anyone and it will also set a bad example for my son. Children learn by example and, although my son is not old enough to understand what happened last night, some day he will be, so it's never to early to start practicing good habits.
I could have chased after this man and punched him in the face, but what would that have done for me? Probably given me a free, one-night stay at the county jail and a sore hand. Not worth it.
I also could have approached him and lectured him about childhood eye problems and told him that he did not, in fact, know everything there is to know in this world. But I have learned that trying to get drunken people to listen to you is never easy. I also know that expecting an intoxicated person to retain the information you told them is just not very logical. So what’s the point of confrontation?
I chose option 3. I ignored this man and reminded myself of how lucky I am to have been raised in a way that taught me to be kind and non-judgmental of others. I used this situation as a reminder of why I want to teach the world about my son and other childhood eye diseases. I doubt this man would have said anything if he knew how much we have been through with our “hipster baby”.
Being thick skinned is a sign of an emotionally strong person. I understand that my happiness does not depend on what others say to me or about me. My happiness depends on how I handle the insult or criticism someone sends my way. If I let every comment, stereotypical t-shirt, or criticizing look I encounter ruin my day, I am going to spend a lot of time and energy being unhappy and in the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”
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