There are many ways to refer to somebody when you can’t remember their name or you might be identifying someone in a picture. We all have defined ourselves by different circumstances in life. Some of those definitions are temporary, others like race, sexual orientation and personal beliefs seem to be more lasting in most people. Have you ever wondered what would be your answer if somebody asks you out of the specific context of a conversation a simple 3 word question? – “What are you”? Would your answer be the same as somebody who doesn’t remember your name and it’s looking for a way to refer to you? Everybody has a different perception of us, because of that, we are always going to get different adjectives.
I have heard many ways people use to refer to others. The “fat one”, the “pretty one”, the “tall” one...
Many of these characteristics are totally relative. What do you consider fat? What is your idea of beauty? or, tall compared to whom?
The way you choose to “define” another person, says more about you than about them. Ask yourself the following questions when referring to someone else. Is my comment going to be kind? Is it accurate? Does it include a generalization, racist, sexist or homophobic component?
I’m a man in my fifties, disabled, democrat, atheist, gay, Latino among other things. These descriptions are all acceptable to me. I don’t mind people saying, “You know, Felix, the Latino”. Other descriptions, make me uncomfortable. They might even be the same ones that I accepted before in a different tone that might sound patronizing or derogative. They can also be unkind answers, judgmental ones or simply rude ways of referring to somebody else.
The way we relate or identify to another human being, should always include a kind and proper choice of words. It’s time for some people to change the way they refer to others. It’s time to show love in the words we communicate to others. Our society has forgotten the meaning of respect. Let’s think about this the next time we choose an adjective to describe somebody. After all, we are all stars shining bright in the same universe, dancing to our own tune. Choose beauty instead of ugliness. Kindness and love will define you instead of the lack of love.