Sunday, January 26, 2014

La fácil y difícil

The easy and difficult.  

A young woman lost 100 pounds,  ...  she'd lived into her thirties with weight (and health) issues, then was stunned by the difference in how people treated her after she became slender. Having been ignored all her life, suddenly people noticed her, treated her nicely, smiled, held the door open for her. She was really something!

"Except—wait—I had been something before, too! ... Why didn't anyone notice? Why didn't they care? More importantly, why did they care now? 

We live in a society that celebrates and rewards the most ridiculous and arbitrary traits, thinness being way up there on the list."

Size 0 is not normal, is it.  But the fashion industry struggles to portray normal as other than unhealthily thin.

It's easy to see the wrong thinking sometimes. It's difficult to rise above it.

"I want to lose weight," she told us; a pretty young lady. When asked how much she weighed now, "A hundred and eleven pounds."  We laughed about the irrational thinking behind her wish.  She said, "I know it's not reasonable, but it's hard to rise above it and live differently."

Our appearance, like so many other issues, gets taken to extremes. There are deadly results from portraying that which is unhealthy as an admirable goal for our youth.  Unethical is the least severe description offered of the industries involved.

Our weight, our physique, our hair, our shoes and accessories, our manicure, the car we drive, the house we live in ... these are not meaningful life priorities; they occupy too much of our heart and mind and time, men and women both.

Being swept along by such things robs us all. How might we challenge our social norms in a helpful manner?

We can make decisions now that will perhaps help us dig our way out of the nonsense, at least.

  • Decisions like health instead of appearance being most important
  • Financial choices like budget and saving
  • Teaching our children the difference between need and desire
  • Choices about a goal for our own personal lives
  • Choices about integrity and honesty
  • Choices against selfishness and needing to win
  • Choices to learn from those who think differently than we do  

We perhaps learn little from those who think like us anyway.  (One of my favorite memories from school, watching a couple of ninth-graders giving each other advice about love.)