Shaken Not Stirred

Monday, August 30, 2004

Speech Check

I think that a class that should be created is a speech check! Not anything that would stifle a view point or an opinion. But one that would help people determine the difference between a true opinion and hurtful statements.

A few days ago, I saw in the news a story about a passenger suing Southwest Airlines for an embarassing comment made by a stewardess. The stewardess allegedly insinuated that the passenger was so overweight that she couldn't fit in one of the airline chairs. There is a way to handle such a situation without having to offend a paying customer. Had I been on the flight, I probably would have written a letter to the company concerning the issue. I know that some people can be sensitive, but if the comment made really affected the passenger enough to take it to court, then some serious damage was done.

I know how she feels. Recently I've gained some weight because of my sedentary situation. I'm on my butt for a good part of the day reading and reviewing. So I would estimate that I've eaten about 10 pounds worth of junkfood and it really shows. Since I'm only about 5'4", every little bit shows. And I know that I've gained weight, and all joking aside, it irks me that I have.

I ran into a family friend, he's actually my family's friend, not really mine. Well, not anymore as far as I'm concerned. He was out doing errands and we ran into each other. He asked how the studying was going and then said, "I can see you are stressed" while pointing to my abdomen area. Not only did he say this with the "big tummy" gesture, but he said it in front of my friends--whom none of have pointed out that I gained some weight. I was embarassed to say the least. Embarassed to the point that I went on the internet to find another miracle diet (you know like the Atkins or grapefruit diet). I even bought the book "The Zone". Almost fooled again into some new eating regimine that would melt the pounds away. However, I just added more time to my treadmill routine and then started using my bike again. I think the exercise will melt the pounds away more quickly and safely.

And then on Sunday, my cousins and I took her kids to this place in Charleston, West Virginia called Magic Island. They were having a fund raiser carnival type fiesta for children. I think one of the sponsors was REACH, an organization that teaches sex education and educates people about rape and sex crimes. Anyway, her kids went on this ride (the swing thing that has the swings going in circles). The guy running the ride asked us, "Are you people from China or something? I've never seen your kind around". I was like, "Have you never been past the mouth of the Kanawha river?". But being a little tired and holding my tongue, kept quiet while my cousin answered, "No, our ancestry is the Philippines". This guy then had a "thinking" look on his face. He then said, "You all live her now?". She answered yes to which he replied, "Nice country we got here." I wanted to say, "We have lived here all our lives. We love this country as much as you do". But of course kept quiet. Thank God the ride was over and we could take the kids away from there. What are some people taught? Have manners and just plain tolerance, understanding and good manners been pushed to the wayside? I should go to the REACH headquarters and say something. But I won't. It's not there fault that someone like that slipped by their screening process.

So I think my lesson for today is to watch what you say. And to just say something nice!


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