What It’s Like – Part 2
by Jason Kimble
So I thought I would cheat a little. I want to talk about something that piggy backs on to what I had written last week about the insensitive comparisons people make. The day after I posted my piece, I saw something on Facebook that had was a news story being shared by the local news station. The story was about pet memorials. The teaser for the piece read something to the affect that our pets are like our children and losing them is like losing a child. Of course I was offended by reading it. I thought to myself, “How can they write something like that without thinking.” This is not just something that would be offensive to me or offensive to people in my situation. What if your child was a soldier killed in battle? Would they make that comparison? But it seemed no one had thought about it. At first I was just going to let it go. Chalk it up to another one of those “dumb things people say.” I was going to let it roll off my back and not let it be something that bothered me. But then I realized, if no one ever says anything how can we expect it to be fixed in the future?
If people don’t know that what they are saying or doing is offensive, how can we ever expect it to stop? Isn’t that part of the point of starting this non-profit we are working on, to educate people about baby loss? And beyond this news story, doesn’t it become something that should be done in every day life? Now, I am not saying to blast every person that says something dumb. Some of the dumbest things are said with the best intentions. However, I think that at the appropriate time something can be said in a tactful way. First, allow yourself a little time before you say something. That way it won’t be out of anger and it will allow you time to think about exactly what you want to say to the person. Second, make sure you explain that what they said, while well intended, bothered you because… whatever the reason. So, I wrote a response to the news stations Facebook page. I didn’t comment on the story. I didn’t make it public. I quietly responded with a private message and explained exactly what I had blogged about last week. I didn’t expect a response. I wasn’t looking for an apology. I was just asking that they think before they say something like that.
A few days had passed after I sent my message. I wasn’t expecting any response so I wasn’t looking for one. Then came a response. They acknowledged that I was right, and that it was a poor choice of words. They apologized and said they were sorry for my family’s loss. It was nice to be recognized. It was also nice that they responded at all. I am glad that what I said made them think at least.