Something occurred to me today. Something hard, something hurtful...something painful.
Last week I lost someone very close to me, a family member dear to my heart.
But the point of this blog post isn't about grief or the support network people have around them that they rely on in times of need - sometimes finding solace in surprising places. The point isn't about the kinds words that make you feel better.
The point of this post is the opposite of condolences, in fact the opposite of sensitivity completely. The point of this post is insensitivity and the heartbreaking places it comes from.
In life we meet all sorts of people. White, black, Asian, Mexican, deaf, illiterate, special needs, tall, short, man, woman, robot. We meet all sorts of people and, well, depending on your upbringing I suppose, you're taught how to talk to different people and the reactions, or lack thereof more to the point, you're supposed to have when you meet them. There are so many politically correct terms for absolutely everyone these days. Janitors are 'custodians' or 'caretakers'. Blind people are 'visually challenged', deaf are 'hearing impaired'. We can't even say fireman any more, it has be gender neutral , so now called 'fire fighters'.
I'm not trying to say we shouldn't be correct. My point is this - we are so careful these days of what we say to people in case we offend them. And the most shocking of all - to complete strangers. We watch our tongue more with people we've never shared more than a single conversation with in our entire lives than the people who have actually been around for large portions of our existence.
When did it become okay to be polite and careful with strangers...and not with the people we call family?
As I mentioned at the start of this post, I lost someone last week. Today I received a text message from the matriarch of the other side of the family asking a very insensitive question relating to the deceased. No support. No condolence. no offer to help. Just an insensitive question.
So, I'll ask again. When did it become okay to become considerate with strangers, and not with family?