At the very least, it can be extremely annoying when strangers feel they have the right to delve into the lives of others; to comment and make unwanted, unneeded assertions.
If you haven’t walked in a person’s shoes, if you don’t know exactly what they’re going through and the circumstances of their daily lives, is it right for you to open your mouth and give an opinion?
Mom Kelly Dirkes is, sadly, used to getting ‘advice’ from strangers.
She and her husband have adopted two children with Down’s syndrome, and many a stranger has approached her before and tried to offer their thoughts.
In one instance, a short time ago, Kelly was carrying her young daughter in a baby carrier while shopping at the store. As she browsed the shelves, Kelly was stopped by a woman who had something to say about her little girl.
The woman told her that her child would be “spoiled”, and would “never learn to be independent” if her mom continued to carry her.
Kelly was stunned; she had no idea how to answer. She wanted nothing more than to put the woman in her place right there and then. Instead, she took a deep breath, calmed herself down, kissed her daughter on the head and remembered that decisions made in anger are rarely the best way forward.
When she got home, Kelly sat down and wrote an open letter to the woman. Her words are so powerful that we believe everyone should see them.
“Dear Woman in Target-“it begins.
“I’ve heard it before, you know. That I “spoil that baby”. You were convinced that she’d never learn to be “independent”. I smiled at you, kissed her head, and continued my shopping.
If you only knew what I know.
If you only knew how she spent the first ten months of her life utterly alone inside a sterile metal crib, with nothing to comfort her other than sucking her fingers.
If you only knew what her face looked like the moment her orphanage caregiver handed her to me to cradle for the very first time–fleeting moments of serenity commingled with sheer terror. No one had ever held her that way before, and she had no idea what she was supposed to do.
If you only knew that she would lay in her crib after waking and never cry–because up until now, no one would respond.