Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Phony Encouragement

She walked up to two other women.  She smiled and said, "Hi."  They acted excited to see her.  One said, "Oh, you've lost weight.  You look amazing."

She smiled and said, "Thank you."

They talked for a few minutes then she said, "Well, I better get going.  It was really good to see you."  She walked off and the two glared at her as she left.

"Did you see how much thinner she was?" One woman said.

"I know!" The other woman responded.  "I bet she's starving herself or something."

"Right? She's so weird."  They both laughed and went on to gossip about other things.

This was a scene I witnessed this morning.  No, these weren't teenagers or college students.  These three women were sporting some gray hairs and some wrinkles.  Gossip. Cruelty. And a little something I like to refer to as phony encouragement.  We're all guilty of it. We talk about how mean kids and teenagers are, but adults are just as bad. We are quick to judge.

The thing is, I can open my closet door and look at my pile of skeletons--and I've got some big ones.  I have a lot that I'm not proud of.  If we were honest with ourselves we could all admit the same thing--most of us DO have some things we're not proud of . . . secrets we don't want anyone to know about . . .and we go through life trying to fit into this cookie cutter that is socially acceptable and everywhere we turn we are not only being judged by others but judging others as well.  I am just as guilty as the next person.  Why is it so hard to see some one else succeeding or accomplishing something and to feel happiness for them?  Why is it so hard to encourage some people?  We try through fake works and emotions.  We have all become great actors on this stage of life--faking kindness to people's faces and then tearing them apart behind their backs. We all have secrets.  We have insecurities and we all want to be accepted.  So, if we all technically feel the same, why do we put so much energy into being fake and tearing each other down?  No two people are the same.  No two people have the same lives. And, while every life is unique, every life is also precious.  Every. Life.

Remember when we were little and people would tell us to remember the golden rule?  Perhaps, as adults, we are still in need of this reminder.  I pray that I am not heartless and hateful and I pray that I can become a better person.

Imagine what the world could be like if people genuinely cared and didn't just pretend to care. After what I saw today . . . I just want to do better. It bothered me, for some reason, and it has stuck with me all day. I want to be a better person.  I don't want to go through life handing out phony encouragement--or receiving phony encouragement.

What about you?

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