Category Archives: Respect

Kind words

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We’ve been doing some raucous laughing here over the last couple of days as a box of photos made their way down from the loft (they didn’t find their way down on their own oh no …. Big Welsh brought them down I think because his giggling at the top of a ladder wasn’t the best place for a grown man to be whilst being reminded of our early 20s).

The girls admired the places where the photos had been taken (when we would go to Greece for 3 weeks in late September or skiing outside the school term), they marvelled at our old house and its decor and they gave us marks out of ten for our fashion. Big Welsh had a quiff and a large number of check shirts, I had stripey baseball boots and my hair was incredibly short.

One thing that struck me whilst looking at the photos was really how little we’ve actually changed. Our smiles are the same and we’re still the same height!  There might be more padding and less hair but underneath we’re no different and besides who judges anyway?  Who has the right to judge anyone on what they look like?  How do the judgey types feel when they’ve shot off about someone?

I’m all for a bit of harmless banter but the phrase “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” resonates in my ear when I hear someone say something bang out of order or when something that could be construed as an insult is on the tip of my tongue.

Some time ago someone I know asked me if I knew someone, to which I replied “yes she’s a great friend”.  I was therefore shocked when she said “well I hate her and her friends are just as awful”, it’s changed my opinion of that person and made me even more selective in who I actually call a friend.  Another time I recall a very generously proportioned lady congratulating a younger woman, the younger woman looked perplexed and asked what for.  The older and generously proportioned lady suggested she was pregnant and to her credit the younger woman said that she wasn’t pregnant and had probably just over eaten saying you know how it is (subtle!), rubbed her flat stomach and smiled whilst the older lady blushed.

A few weeks ago I met Karin Joyce at Blog on Cymru and she mentioned #EmbraceHappy where you post #3goodthings each day and I joined up, how hard could it be to find 3 good things to be grateful about, 3 good things that make your heart soar, 3 good things about a day that could otherwise be a vile day.  Try it.  It’s not hard to do if you give it some thought, because however small a good thing might be it’s still a good thing!  As I stared at the peelings that hadn’t been cleared away, at the dishwasher that hadn’t been emptied and coped with the drama of the homework not being handed in on time I still managed to find 3 good things.

So often I am told about some celebrity news by the children, or I read on Twitter that someone is getting a bashing for something or someone is berated for not being part of the ideal and I will admit it makes me cringe.  There’s celebrities I don’t go a bundle on or people I’m not overly fond of and the easiest thing is to walk away and not worry about them.  Instead of blurting out how someone is fat, has dodgy hair, gonky teeth, their style isn’t isn’t what you call your style (and again who are we to judge what counts as style, when to be honest a long as it’s not outraging public decency or likely to cause danger or distress it’s not an issue) there’s got to be 3 good things you could say about them.  How about “look at that happy person who is comfortable in what they are wearing who is actually getting out of the car and walking whilst enjoying their surroundings”.  That’s a start.  A positive start!

I guess what I am trying to say is think before you open your mouth and know your audience, the person you might be being negative about might be a friend of the person you are talking to and once you’ve said your bit you can’t take it back, however many times you apologise.

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