Today while surfing the wonderful digital information highway, I stumbled across a disturbing yet inspiring discussion thread on ravelry. Of what spawned this thread can be found here.
Now, this discussion was taken up by mostly females that as far as I could see were Margaret's fans, and their gathering and defending her stand is what I found absolutely inspiring. I myself am a HUGE Margaret Cho fan and have been blessed to have seen her live twice and actually to have met her once. She is a Beautiful, Courageous, and Inspiring woman. And dammit, like all of us who have run into societies road blocks; entitled to her anger. I don't personally approve of her underwear choice for the tattoo flashing shot, but that's just my own personal fashion issues. Not that I'm a fashion maven of any form, they just look uncomfortable. I can't imagine a thong being as comfortable as they say, and it appears to have little bows attached by rivets along the sacrum. I can't imagine that feeling good sitting, but hey, that's not the point. The point is the lovely inkwork she wants to show off. My eye just got distracted as did my train of thought obviously.
What I found disturbing were the stories that were shared of family members and total strangers being complete twunts to others regarding their general appearance, weight, or facial structure. I'm not naive, I didn't grow up in a fashion that allowed that, but God Dammit people can be cruel Son's of Bitches. Now I will try to stop cussing to get my point across.
I by no means am a perfect person. Especially not in looks but what I want to focus on are my personality flaws. I can be mean, petty and just plain nasty at times. Usually, it takes prompting to bring that side of my personality out but occasionally I find that person a little to close to the surface for comfort. In my past, being the one to make someone not want to make eye contact after a verbal beating was a coping mechanism and at times a political play when dealing with bullies that were bigger than me. It did not always work and at times I had to physically defend myself, and I will admit that I went further than was absolutely necessary to make an example of someone more than once. As was just discussed last night, due to this I grew up being one of those people that though of only average height, bigger people don't necessarily intimidate me. Accordingly, it took me some time to realize that this "tool" was not always needed and could and very well should be put away most of the time. With that being said, after I had made that cognitive leap, when I was being such, it was with intention. My actions were typically thought out. But there were times from either exhaustion of just frustration that something mean and sometimes even cruel, would spill out. I am not what I would call a nice person, but am nicer than I used to be after quite a bit of introspection and recognition of who I want to be compared to who I was and am.
Now with a bit more of my personality explained, let me state some personal thoughts. Cruelty has it's place in the world. Sometimes you are unable to get a point through to someone elses head with out being a little cruel. Sometimes a situation has gotten to a point that you either can't de-esculate it without some cruelty, or you need to push it past the point of no return just to clear the air. My point is, cruelty should only be used with intention. It should never be used carelessly. Our words have weight that can physically hurt and we should be aware of this as we wield them and in cases where we must wield them we have to be willing to pay their price by making amends on the other side or accepting the harm they caused.
It broke my heart to read these stories of taunting from other kids, or worse, from ones own parents regarding their physical appearance or less than expected behaviors. Children are our responsibility, and as such we should raise them to up, and teach them to recognize their own beauty, not bury them in thoughts and words of hate and ugliness. I guess I always want to think the better of people and seeing this many people on this one site sharing such stories though inspiring as they find the truth, scares me in the volume of careless and needless cruelty to not only another person, but to a child that knows no other truth.
The point is, we all have our flaws, and we all have parts of us that have been harmed and maybe even broken by others. Sometimes it's so minor we don't even recognize it for what it is. Sometimes the damage is so drastic that others can see it just by looking at you. But we all have those hurts, bruises, cuts and gashes on our souls. Every single damn one of us. Here's to finding the a way to fix what needs to be broken, shining the tarnished spots, and learning to let the parts that maybe be flawed yet make us who we are shine in all we do and say.
I read as many of these postings as possible, but won't be able to read the entire thread. I simply won't have the time, or the heart. But I wanted to respond to the discussion, and to Margaret Cho's comment makers and her response as a whole. So here it is... Remember, each and every one of us is beautiful if only we would truly open our eyes and see it. I swear, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. If you can't see it yourself, let others see it and tell you. But more importantly, remember that those around us are beautiful to, you just have to allow yourself to see it and don't let careless words or actions trample on it.