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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Social Pet Peeve.

Are we not socially refined?

One of my biggest social pet peeves is when greeting a friend, family member, or acquaintance in Jeddah and the first thing out of his/her mouth is "Did you gain weight (تخنانة)?!", or "Are you tired (تعبانة) ?".
Why do people in this community feel like they can point out your flaws so honestly, making you feel worse than you may already feel or put a damper on a pretty good day. Why is it ok to be sooooo honest with hurtful statements and not with anything else?? 

I've lived in the States for ten years and spent every summer and winter break of my life either in the States or  somewhere in Europe and never encountered a person who said "did you gain weight?" or "why do you look so tired? Whats wrong with you?" Western people take every opportunity to say something nice or show concern in a genuine caring way. And if they have nothing nice to say, they don't say anything at all.

I would like to recommend to all, that we should make extra effort to be genuinely nice to everyone or just be quiet. We should follow universal teaches of all monotheistic and spiritual religions including the Hadith "Say good, or be quiet فلتقل خيرآ او لتصمت"; my mom always says "If you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all". 

As an Islamic community we must make a conscious decision to be socially aware of our actions and how they affect our peers. We must have a higher awareness of how our actions and words are felt. 

Think about it:
What is your intention and could you unintentionally hurt someone? Can you say what you feel in a more concerned way? Maybe that person knows that she looks fat and she is feeling horrible about it, you pointing that out is not going to make her feel any better. Don't you think that she already knows that none of her clothing fits anymore and she is wearing her fat jeans?? You might not know that your friend is struggling with an inner fear and she hasn't slept all night, saying that she looks horrible is only going to make her feel worse and know that you are not such a good friend after all.

Think before you speak!

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Please exercise proper manners and respect for all. Thanks