I've always been cautions and mindful about what I post because of my job and my workplace can/will monitor postings. It would be unfair, though, to use that as the only reason. I just don't think it's the place to be righteous or political, and it bothers me when people post things that they think are inherently right or wrong.
This morning, a Facebook "friend" (who is really just an acquaintance) posted about a 407-pound woman who was not allowed to fly home to New York City from Hungary and died as a result. In this person's eyes, the fault was not with the airline but everyone else - her doctors, her husband and herself. This person argued, in a somewhat long status update, among other things:
- The woman's weight equaled more than eight 50-pound suitcases. Passengers with that much baggage get denied or charged very high penalties, so why should she be any different?
- The woman's husband was irresponsible and pathetic because he watched his wife become super obese and did not do anything about it. As the person said, she didn't get to be 400 pounds overnight.
- Doctors allowed her to get overweight and should be sued, not the airline.
And I'm not.
I did not stand quietly as my mother gained weight. I had countless arguments with her about her health and size, causing us not to speak for weeks on end. I refused to bring her things that she didn't need, even if it resulted in tantrums. If ever she showed even the tiniest ounce of interest in losing weight, I did all that I could to encourage it. I never went as far to call her doctors but the thought crossed my mind time and time again.
The doctors, though, would have told me the one thing I knew deep down: you can't make someone lose weight. You can yell at her. You can try to control her diet. You can give her a gym membership or buy her DVDs. You can set a good example. Unless she wants to hear you or follow the guidelines or use the tools, she will not lose weight. She will continue to tune you out, find ways to eat what she wants and use other health issues as excuses for not exercising.
This person was ignorant to all of that. It's much easier to point a finger, to shun, to live on a high horse of being "normal." It's much easier to say, "Why didn't you do anything? Why didn't someone do something?" and believe people indulged her and enabled this woman to the point of super obesity. It's much easier to believe that the "her" wasn't even a person, not even worthy of consideration or compassion.
I desperately itched to express that, to share my story in a comment, but I knew it would be the kind of Facebook discussion that I so despise. I don't need to be right. Or righteous. I know my story, and I know her truth. I don't need more.
Well, except to click unfriend.