25 March 2009

What Would You Do?

The other night I watched the TV show on ABC called What Would You Do with John Quinones as host. Basically it is a hidden camera show with actors acting out controversial situations and seeing how the public reacts. I have to say that there are several thought-provoking scenarios that have been played out, such as seeing what someone would do when seeing a homeless man lying in the middle of the sidewalk. It's also very heart breaking to see people who turn their backs on people in need. Such is the way of human nature: good and bad.

This show got me thinking if I had ever turned my back on someone in need in my life and unfortunately there has been. When I was 18 I was working at Kohl's department store as a cashier in Florence, Kentucky. At one particular checkout, I was ringing up a mother, father, and their little girl who had to be able 7 or 8. She was also overweight. The little girl asked her father, "Why can't I get the other outfit." He repeatedly told her that she weighed too much and to just forget about it. The little girl hung her head like she was ashamed of being who she was. Yet, this wasn't the half of it. The girl said finally, "But I liked the other one."
At this her father looked at her in disgust and said, "Well maybe we'll tie some rope to you can the car so you can run all the way back home. Maybe then you'll lose some weight." That little girl looked crushed and I could tell she was embarrassed. I wanted to tell that father that he was the biggest jerk (or insert other word here) I have ever met, but I didn't want to lose my job. That father had no right to make his daughter feel that way about herself or say that in front of other people. It was emotional abuse. As a person who has been in a few emotional and mentally abusive relationships, I know how these kind of hurtful words can destroy your self esteem. I was that little girl at one point, but it was children who were the abusers, not my parents. My parents were the ones who were my rocks. If they had said the same kinds of hurtful things the kids at school had said to me, I would not be as outgoing as I am today. I regret not saying anything, even if it would have cost me my job. I wonder about that little girl this day, becasue I can never get her sad little face out of my mind.


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