I love how our culture has evolved enough that some terms and behaviors are getting placed in the spotlight and are no longer acceptable. It is wonderful how all of the movements have made us more aware of the troubles a child with special needs can have, or the ways a woman should not be objectified by her male employers or co-workers. But every now and again I say something I deem as totally innocent only to be chastised by an overly P.C. friend or family member.
Today there are scores of people, institutions, and companies that are so overly cautious that I see a trend towards letting anything and everything go so as not to offend anyone in any way.
Has the pendulum swung too far?
I first saw signs of this about 15 or more years ago when I ran my figure skating students through their figure (moves in the field) and free skate tests. I prepared them as best as I could so that once in front of three or more judges they would pass their test and move on to the next level. The tests were by points and if you did not receive the minimum to pass you failed the test. Sounds logical. You simply went home, cried a little, got back on the ice the next day and waited thirty days to try the test again.
Just as a side note, I had to take one test nine times before I passed it. There were times when I failed it and cursed God! There were times where I came home and wondered why my husband had not asked me if I passed. When I questioned him as to why he did not ask me he said, “I saw your puffy eyes so I guess you failed again.”
Still, I loved ice skating and became an ice-skating instructor. I love the fact that I can sympathize and empathize with skaters who are struggling to achieve a particular goal. Ah! But I digress. A few years after passing that dreaded figure-eight test, I saw that the USA Skating Association changed their judging papers to say “pass” or “retry” instead of “pass” or “fail.”
Seriously? Are we that fragile that we can’t handle the word fail?
Thank goodness Thomas Edison did not live in 2020. He failed (oops I meant he retried) multiple times to create just the right filament for the lightbulb.
So here we are in a culture that frowns on shaming and works hard at keeping everyone happy. I am here to tell you that I have big dreams. I have big goals. I expect to get bumped, fall, fail and even fail hard (as any figure skater will tell you) along the way.
I will not attain those goals with a soft underbelly. I will not get up from that fall or that fail if I am constantly worried about my feelings or what someone else is thinking about me.
Go ahead and shame me!
Go ahead and hurt my feelings.
Go ahead and call me out on the carpet if you see me eating that second bowl of ice cream (body shaming). I recently spoke at a Marriage Conference and saw my pictures. Yikes. I am filling out those dress pants a bit too much. I know I am supposed to love my body (and I do) but what will those extra winter pounds do to my goals for being competitive in my triathlon racing this summer?
Go ahead and shame me if you see me being mean, pretentious or rude.
Go ahead and shame me if you see me treating my husband with disrespect or you see me failing to help a friend in need.
You see, when we are so worried about what someone will say or think, we miss out on opportunities to grow and expand our own understanding of others and their points of view.
Sure it hurts when I have a friend remind me that I am not sticking to my health and fitness goals. I can tell you this: it hurts more when I let myself go and have to stop at the top of the stairs to catch my breath. It hurts more when I can’t stay on my feet for very long because my weight gain has caused my plantar fasciitis to flare up.
Go ahead and love your body. Just understand that loving your body does not mean there is no room for improvement. Always strive to develop or advance while giving yourself the grace you know that God has been giving you.
My goals are to serve, to love and to help. Correcting me or bringing something to my attention or awareness may seem like shaming to some, but to me it is showing love and respect.
Go ahead. Shame me, so I can look like this again.