Tuesday, August 21, 2012
People are Like Icebergs
anyway, we got on the subject of how people feel about our use of a surrogate. we knew it was a controversial thing, which is why we waited so long to tell people about it, and expected there to be some opposition. actually, we've been surprised that, aside from lots of prying questions that implied disapproving stances, we've never experienced flat-out disapproval.
then my friend told me about a mutual friend of ours who had come to her to vent her feelings about how wrong our choice to use a surrogate was. this is a person who had been one of my biggest supporters in my fight against infertility, so, needless to say, i was flabbergasted (because "shocked" isn't a strong enough word). i knew something was up with this person, but had attributed it to something else. she had seemed more distant, stopped reading (or maybe commenting, at least) my blog, even left my baby shower early (almost didn't come at all), but i never thought it was because she morally opposed our choice.
i feel judged. i've never felt judged to this degree before and it's a terrible feeling.
after letting this information sink in, i got to thinking about how she really doesn't know me. she doesn't know what i've been through. she doesn't understand the pain i've felt over the years, yearning for a child. she sees the front that i've put up, the protective wall that i've erected. if she could see behind the curtain, if she walked a mile in my shoes, she might more fully understand my choice.
this goes beyond me, though. how many times have i judged other people? (it's more often than i'd like to admit, i'm afraid.) how many times have i turned my nose up at someone? how many times have i avoided someone, because i didn't approve of them for one reason or another? i don't know these people. well, i may know some of them, but i can only see a fraction of them.
i've come to the conclusion that people are like icebergs. you can only see about 10% of them, the rest hiding beneath the surface. you may feel like you know them, either from personal experience with them, or because you're a really good book cover judge, but the truth is, you don't.
you don't know what inner conflicts they're dealing with. you don't know what personal struggles they're enduring. you don't know that he just lost his job and his family is starving. you don't know that they're child was just diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. you don't know that she is battling an eating disorder. you don't know that he is plagued by a mental illness. you don't know that they're world is falling apart and it's all they can do to put on a brave face.
maybe, instead of turning away or mentally bashing them, when we see people we could smile at them. maybe we could allow someone with only a few items to cut in front of us at the grocery store. maybe we could buy a meal at the corner mcdonald's to give to the person with the sign on the corner. maybe we could donate a couple of extra blankets to the local shelter. maybe we could open the door for the person who has trouble walking. maybe we could be genuinely happy for someone else's happiness, even if we don't agree with the way they got there.
maybe we could judge less and love more.
cleverly communicated by carlia at 10:26 AM