Thursday, August 22, 2013

What are you posting on your wall?

A few months ago, I read about a guy who took a picture of a total stranger at an Airport and posted it on his twitter account. He did this in hopes of making fun of this unsuspecting woman and having his followers join in. Somehow the twitter sphere became abuzz by the picture and word got back to the woman that she was a victim of an ill executed public shaming. Instead of responding with anger, the young lady responded with poise and the twit pic poster ended up profusely apologetic. (Click here for the full story).  

Lately, I have seen the same tomfoolery on my Facebook timeline. The practice of people taking pictures of unsuspecting individuals and posting it on their wall for sport has become prevalent. I have thought about it and I just can’t see how any mature adult would think this is acceptable. I consider it a breach of a total stranger’s privacy. More importantly I just think it is mean! I am not perfect (Gasp! Shocking, I know) and I would hate for someone to snap a photo of me at my worst and post it on the internet for the pure entertainment of others.

I also think this practice sends a really bad message to our youth (some of the people doing this are parents!!!!). At a time when our young children are struggling with cyber bullying and committing suicide because of Facebook, twitter, instagram and the like, we as adults should be setting an example for the youth. The story above ended in redemption, Amanda Todd’s story ended in tragedy. The 15 year old posted a cry for help on YouTube then committed suicide. Some people posted some really mean things on her Facebook wall. (Read the full story here). You never know what obstacles and barriers people are facing. I urge my readers to consider the motivation behind the act prior to sharing something mean on their social media. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am all for freedom of speech and freedom of expression. In a small town like El Dorado, anything posted on Facebook or any other social media outlet is sure to reach a multitude of people. Cafe owner faces backlash after posting picture on Facebook

Here is a gospel song telling you to "keep your business off of Facebook!"

Beloved, we are all strangers on this journey we call life. Let’s band together and be accountable to each other, perhaps that act alone can make this trek a little easier. If you ever see me do something that harms my brothers and sisters, please feel free to let me know ever so gently. In return, I promise to be cognizant of what I post on my social media accounts.

Until then, hugs and kisses!         

Monday, August 12, 2013

True Story, I was pregnancy shamed

This past weekend I was pregnancy shamed. Allow me to explain. You may have heard of slut shaming or fat shaming, but rarely do you ever hear of people saying they were pregnancy shamed. Hubby and I went to Houston this past weekend for a baby shower. It was indeed a most enjoyable event! The last guest departed the baby shower at 1:00 am! Yes, I am a party animal.

My day started out normally, as any other day. I got up, ate an emergency breakfast (emergency because ever since I got pregnant, I have to have something in my stomach or else this baby becomes a monster). After eating breakfast and talking to some of my family members, I went upstairs to take a shower and get ready to hit the road back to Arkansas. It was extremely hot, so I picked a maternity dress that was a light and stretchy material. My stomach has gotten bigger so the material accentuated and clung to my stomach. This is the one feature that I liked about the dress because it allowed me to show the evidence of my soon to be baby Diva. I met my little sister and she complimented me on the dress; it made me smile. As I made my way down the stairs, I became aware of the distressed looks I was getting from some of my relatives. The incessant chatter ceased and the room fell quiet. I felt weird but thought I was being paranoid. I made a mental note of how I had checked and double checked my appearance before going down the stairs. So why the weird vibe? At last, one brave soul ventured out to tell me they thought it was best to go back upstairs and change. I asked if she could see my underwear or if the dress was too short. She said no, but that the dress was not appropriate for me to wear. One of her cohorts further explained that the dress would be good for someone who did not have curves, someone tall and slender. She also stated that the dress made me look more compact. I was not satisfied with this explanation. My older sister piped up and asked me to turn sideways because she wanted to see baby Diva in her full glory. She did not seem to have a problem with my outfit.

Hubby loaded the truck and we got ready to speed off to the redneck highway (remote windy two lane roads) to our beloved El Dorado.  As we approached the truck my relatives kept pressuring me to go change prior to my departure. I finally asked why they found this dress so offensive. Finally, one of my shamers stated, “well, the dress would not look so bad if your stomach was not so know if your stomach was smaller.” After picking my jaw off the floor, I mounted the waiting truck and sped off.

Dear reader: I. AM. PREGNANT! Yes, my stomach is big…like a mini beach ball or a round, smooth extra-large bowling ball. It is big and round, like a perfectly shaped dome. It is also beautiful and exquisite; it is carrying life! I could not help but wonder why two women who have had children (emphasis on CHILDREN) felt it was ok to shame another woman because of her glorious pregnant belly. I wasn’t being told to change because my outfit was too provocative, but because of my protruding belly. My big pregnant belly was making them uncomfortable. As our truck carried us up home, I wondered, how can a pregnant woman make her stomach less conspicuous? Should I wear Moo-Moo’s for the rest of the pregnancy? I wistfully turned to my hubby and asked him if he thought I should cease wearing the offending number. He lovingly looked at me and smiled. Then he reassuringly answered, “no babe, your outfit is great, you look beautiful.” With a huge grin on my face, I turned and looked out the window to watch the trees pass in a blur and make our way a little closer to Arkansas. 

Slut shaming, fat shaming and now pregnancy shaming, what has the world come to?

Have you ever been shamed?   

Thursday, August 8, 2013

What I have learned; Lessons for Everyday Self-Improvement

Two years ago, I attended a self-improvement seminar in Little Rock. Upon my return to work, my boss asked me what I learned. At first I was taken aback because I had not stopped to evaluate whether I had learned anything. It was fortunate that I actually paid attention and took notes. I promptly typed up the wisdom that I had gleaned from the team of speakers. In retrospect, I realize that the messages and wisdom spouted by the big name presenters applied to everyone, young and old.
Living in a small town, I have not had many more opportunities to attend more self-improvement seminars. What I learned was too good not to share, so I have posted the highlights below.
Lou Holtz:
Three rules for a meaningful relationship:

1.      Do what is right and people will trust you

2.      Do everything to the best of your ability

3.      Show people that you care

Three questions that people will ask you:

1.      Can I trust you?

2.      Are you committed to excellence?

3.      Do you care about me?

Things to keep in mind:

1.      Make good choices

2.       Know what dreams you have

3.      Evaluate the past success and focus on the future

4.      Don’t let other dictate your attitude

Collin Powell:

1.      Have a sense of purpose

2.      Be passionate about what you are doing

3.      Demonstrate moral and physical courage

4.      Take care of your employees and coworkers

5.      “Invest in your words”

6.      Compliment people and give credit where credit is due

7.      Create connections

8.      Recognize when work is not being done

Bill Cosby:

1.      What is your personal best?

2.      Help yourself, don’t wait for others to help you.

3.      No matter how big the task or challenge, start small and you will succeed.

4.      Always take responsibility

Terry Bradshaw:

1.      Be thankful for your life

2.       Happy people are aware of what they are capable of doing

3.      Smile

4.      Keep things in perspective

5.      Understand who you are

6.       Know what you want

7.      Don’t waste your life, it’s too short, tap into what you want

8.      You need people to fulfill your vision.

My dear sweet readers, what have you learned lately?