Mirror, mirror on the wall…
by the site’s Founder
While reading the daily news recently on the internet, I came across a public figure’s comments about another person that led me to some thoughts. Those thoughts I am sharing with you.
That public figure is admittedly very talented, has a great sense of humor, and tells truths people need to hear. As one of her admirers and having watched her work, I came to understand that she is smart, goodhearted, and genuinely concerned about sensitive and controversial issues the world is facing today. At one bad moment, she referred to another public figure calling her very ugly. She went on with some more offensive comments that there is no need to mention here. Although those were comments made in a few only seconds, they saddened me for many reasons.
We all make mistakes, every day. “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone…” It is good though to speak about things around us, good or bad, beautiful or ugly, so we improve ourselves as humans and move the world forward.
The above unfortunate comment by a public figure made me wonder whether it is good to call someone ugly, not only publicly but also in conversations with friends. How can one name someone else ugly, especially in public? Even if I am considered the most handsome in the world, does that give me the liberty to call people around me ugly? Much less when Mother Nature has given me simple features and not those that would put me into the category of the impressively handsome. Even when we talk with friends in a close circle, saying that a person is very ugly shows anything but luck of kindness and cultivation. There is always a polite manner of saying something. After all, everyone views beauty differently. Otherwise, we would all have identical houses, cars, devices and would like the same people for spouses. No doubt, there are people out there who have extraordinary beauty, but that in no way gives us the liberty to call all the rest ugly or very ugly. Some are simply more beautiful than others. That is entirely different from saying that some are very ugly, especially when followed by other offensive comments. Let’s all be kind all the time. To say it better, let’s be cultivated and have manners. It is a sign of civilization.
Another thing that surprised me was that I saw no post on the internet related to the above insulting comment the following day. We all know that there are so many websites, blogs, and TV shows about showbiz that discuss public figures’ words and behavior. It was strange to me that I did not stumble on anything like that. A few days later, I found a few mentions, but they were just repeating the lousy comment and nothing else. I wondered why… Was it because a big majority love the public figure that made that comment? Do we not discriminate that way, although we live in times that stand up against discriminations? I can justify it a bit due to the person’s previous good role model samples. She had not provoked the public in any way. Instead, she had been a great example of a person trying in her ways to improve life and the world. A few columnists, though, should have criticized the wrong comment. If we keep silent about any wrongdoing, no one will ever improve, and the same mistakes will keep being made.
I also thought of how easily we criticize celebrities or public figures, as though they are invulnerable… as though money and fame have solved all their problems and they ignore everyone’s opinion. Publicity, however, money, fame, and anything else that comes with being in the spotlight do not mean that a person cannot get hurt. Even when you have all those, you may emotionally collapse if you hear someone calling you ugly. A seemingly simple comment from the other side of the globe may have such an impact on someone’s life… and we may never know. Much more when a good and well-cultivated person makes that comment. But, why do we criticize easily a successful, famous, and beautiful person? The above comment about ugliness was made toward a white, famous, successful, rich, and (according to most people) beautiful person. No one reacted to that. In some countries, that seemingly innocent and funny comment would signal a “You are fired!” red button or you would resign accepting your mistake. What would happen if the “recipient” of the comment were a person of another color, less beautiful, not that successful, and poor? What if he or she had some flaws on the face or body? Would we make such comments? The outrage would be massive, sending the wind right in our face.
Let’s be more careful… because we never know how a comment can affect someone’s psyche. Our mental health has little to do with money, publicity and beauty, but more with people’s kindness, whether it comes from the next door or a distant country.
Finally, are we as progressive as we want to believe? Do we treat all people equally, or do we still discriminate? You may say now, “You are asking that question because of a comment that lasted a few seconds?” Yes, because such comments, especially when made by public figures, have tremendous power. Luckily, the person who made that unfortunate comment had made hundreds of other comments that helped us become better humans. So… if she understands that it was just a bad moment, her gift to speak to people’s hearts will multiply…