A wonderful blogger friend who is working hard and successfully re-balancing his life and achieving better health and happiness posted this photo of a business card. He was understandably angered by its content and “voiced” his concerns by writing an article. When I first read the words, my emotions were pulled in many directions. As I sat back and reflected on the situation, I began to realize the contentious purpose of this encounter.
As a physician, obesity is a topic I have discussed with many patients over the years. There are MANY reasons contributing to its rise in numbers in most countries.These may include: (1) physical, (2) emotional, (3) lack of education, (4) lack of financial resources.
Finding answers to this disease is critical for the welfare of EVERYONE. Sometimes “tough love” is used as an intervention to help recognize and overcome this condition. When this approach is used tactfully with dignity and compassion, it can help the obese individual come to terms to begin a process of healing.
Shaming will NEVER be part of any process with any intent to help the victim. It is a sadistic attempt to add further harm to a person already suffering a challenging existence. The only person to benefit from this perverse approach is the “card giver” feeding their individual needs to cause pain and suffering. This type of person lacks all decency and respect. Their damaged minds thrive on pain; as cancer thrives on sugar, and causes as much harm.
Where it might be natural to feel ANGER and HATRED for these individuals, I believe this too would be a mistake. Anger and hatred are strong emotions that can cause internal harm (both physically and mentally) to ourselves. The card bearer gains greater motivation to promulgate this process because it “feeds” their twisted needs while damaging the health of the “well-intentioned” person. Instead, I believe we need to turn our backs on these individuals and pity their worthless unhappy lives. Without attention these individuals deteriorate into lifeless entities stripping their demoralizing message of any value or meaning.
Obesity IS a serious problem and needs serious solutions. People suffering this condition will need to take responsibility for participating in a process to reverse it. This process, however, will be respectful, courteous, ethical, moral, compassionate and healthful. It must be designed using a positive approach recognizing each individual as unique and special. This method will more likely produce a better and healthier outcome. Shaming individuals sole purpose is to cause further degradation of the individual’s self worth and self esteem. Don’t let anyone try to convince you otherwise.
I encourage everyone to recognize the pain and suffering that exists in many lives (for those of healthy weight and overweight.) Be compassionate and thoughtful rather than resentful. Helping create positive changes to a life that may already be filled with turmoil is a difficult task. It becomes that much easier when people believe their lives have meaning and purpose. It becomes society’s responsibility to encourage all of us to see VALUE in each of our lives. Together, we are capable of creating greater change than pursuing goals that ONLY satisfy individual needs.