What Other People Think

I think that most people would say that they don't have prejudices. However, I find that most people when confronted by a difference in another person uses it in some way to prejudge another. For example, I don't drink alcohol. Never did drink much as I don't really like the taste. I quit altogether sometime in the 1980s when the beer commercials began, in my opinion, promoting it to kids by using Spuds, a cute dog, to advertise their product. I heard one beer distributor reply to my comment that their use of Spuds was an attempt to get 40 year old men to switch brands! Give me a break!

But I've found that due to my "difference"(i.e., a non-drinker) that I've experienced odd responses to my choice. I've had many people comment at the end of the evening that they were surprised that I had so much fun or danced so much, etc. Do you see the judgment here? These people think that one has to drink to really loosen up and have a good time.

The worst comment was at an elegant Christmas party held at the Hotel Intercontinental in Dallas. I arrived at the huge gala after having presented an all-day workshop. I was tired and thirsty but looking forward to a relaxing evening. One of the hostesses greeted me and welcomed me by asking what I would like to drink. I replied that I would love to have a glass of water as I'd been talking all day. She said nothing but gave me a funny look. She brought me a glass of water and then said, 'Don't you drink?' Knowing where she was going with this I said, 'Sure, I drink'water, lemonade, iced tea, soft drinks.' She then said, 'No, dear, don't you drink alcohol?' When I replied 'no,' she asked 'Why? Are you a recovering alcoholic?' I said, 'No, just an educated decision.'

I can only assume that my not drinking made her uncomfortable in some way. Later other people who heard the conversation asked me what I meant by 'an educated decision,' and I ended up answering their questions. We had some fascinating discussion on unhealthy advertising and its effects on children.

The point is we often make choices based on what other people are thinking or doing. We often eat dessert when others do even when we are trying to watch calorie intake. Sometimes we let our children do things that we feel they are too young to do, but 'everyone else is letting their children do it.'

So, I like this saying (author unknown) and want to share it with you:

When we're in our 20s, we worry what everyone is saying about us;
When we're in our 40s, we don't care what everyone is saying about us;
And when we're in our 60s, we realize nobody was saying anything about us anyway!

Well, I'm not in my 60s yet, but I'm assuming that everyone is too busy to say anything about me, and, if they are saying something, it must be good, and, if it's not, then I don't care! Really! Because gossips gossip. No matter what you say or do, they'll pick it apart'and it's not worth wasting a single moment of our precious life thinking about it. Have a joyful 2007!

Copyright 2016, Sharon Scott.