cysticfibrosismom

I'm just a regular mom, figuring out life with my daughter Sophia, who has cystic fibrosis.Take this journey with me.

Awareness

2 Comments

One of the hardest things in life is remaining non-judgmental. Many of us claim to be completely open-minded in a self-righteous sort of way. “I would never judge a person…” But if we are true to ourselves and actually self-aware, we know how many disapproving thoughts fly through our heads. When a parent carries a screaming child down the grocery store aisle, we think ‘I’m glad I have better control over my own children.’ When a driver cuts us off in traffic, we pick the most salient attribute (car type, age of driver, sex of driver, etc) and make a disparaging comment under our breath. Now, thankfully, most of us keep these thoughts in our heads. Some of us even open our minds to why people behave the way they do. Perhaps that child missed a nap or is coming down with a cold. Maybe the driver is on route to the hospital to visit a sick relative, or perhaps he/she just made a mistake.

I believe that one way to cut down on prejudice is to watch how we label people. Take a few days and listen to your inner commentary. Do you tend to refer to teenagers as ‘punks’, to whiny children as ‘brats’? Do you refer to people by who they are or by what they are? On a more subtle note, is Mr B down the street a cranky old git or is he a man who has led a difficult life? Is my daughter a cystic fibrosis patient, a cystic, a cyster? Or is she a young girl with cystic fibrosis. How would you prefer to be addressed? ‘Person-first’ language is a great rule. We all have complicated lives. We all make mistakes. At some point in our lives we will all battle with illness, whether it’s the sniffles, the stomach flu, or a serious disease. We are all people first.

 

“The first step toward change is awareness…”

Nathaniel Branden

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2 thoughts on “Awareness

  1. Love this post. Thank goodness no one knows what goes on in my head! You are correct about those disapproving thoughts, in my case at least – yes, I admit it. And really, is it possible to truly keep these thoughts totally ‘in the vault’? I have a notion that in subtle, hard to define ways, the nasty thoughts squeak out, through body language, tone of voice, who knows, maybe even PHEREMONES (we probably smell different when we’re hating) – even when we don’t say the WORDS, and I bet other people can pick up the bad vibes. I like that rule – ‘Person-First’ language. Where did you become acquainted with this concept? I don’t think you’re a regular mom – you seem like a very special person to me from reading your blog. But I guess another part of becoming more ‘aware’ is realizing we are ALL special! Still, I’m giving myself permission to say I think you’re wonderful. I hope Sophia is doing well – the rest of your family, too.

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