Weighing In

I have not blogged (on my personal blog) in over a year. Thoughts pop into my head and as quickly as the seed is planted a responsibility usurps my fleeting desire to write. So, here I am, sitting at the keyboard, finally. I intended to go to bed early tonight because I went to bed far too late and got up far too early yesterday. I wanted a nice cup of mint tea before I went to bed, warm beverages put me in a sleepy mood. I opened the pantry, only to be accosted by a moth. I don’t like things flying unexpectedly at my face. So, I killed it. And then, there was another, and another…until in disgust I started removing all of the boxes from my pantry shelf to find that they had taken up residence there. There went my early bed time. I have spent the last 2 hours cleaning out my cabinet and throwing away food. At the end of the ordeal, I put my water on to boil, let my mint tea steep and I thought: “Why do I love butterflies and hate moths?” They are essentially the same, right?

Why is it that I am delighted when a butterfly lands on me, yet, I swat violently when a moth so much as dares to enter my atmosphere? I came to the conclusion that it’s because butterflies are prettier. Beautiful things get a pass in this world. If something is hideous or even slightly displeasing, we have less empathy for it; ugly things suffer. I had to let that marinate.

How must it feel to be passed over, or worse, targeted for ridicule because you are not conventionally attractive? I have been guilty in my lifetime of judging the book by it’s cover. If someone smelled bad, seemed not to care about their appearance or, heaven forbid, was obese, I judged them. I am not proud to admit it, but I was extremely intolerant of obesity.

I seized every opportunity to climb atop my fat soapbox, often going on tirades. My friends jokingly remarked that I “hated fat people,” to which a typical response would be “I don’t hate them, I just don’t want to have to subsidize their bad habits” before laying out the laundry list of ailments associated with being overweight and lamenting how I should get health insurance discounts for keeping myself in good shape.  I made insensitive comments, minimized the weight loss struggle (“just stop eating so much and so unhealthily!” I’d think when I saw a large person) and in some ways, disliked overweight people without ever having befriended one. Weightism is one of the last socially acceptable forms of discrimination.

Everyone cannot be a butterfly, but that does not make them any less worthy of love. I know that God created all things for a purpose, yes all things, even those that I do not find beautiful. In 2011 I made a conscious decision to stop speaking so venomously about people who are overweight, to start seeing them with new eyes. In the process I came to a realization about obesity: It is merely an outward manifestation of inward struggle. If we all had to wear our private battles like a badge where everyone could see, it is likely that we would stagger and fall beneath the weight of judgement.

For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you