Case in point; I recently had dinner with a group of folks. One dad shared that his daughter had been hit by a car and was in rehabilitation. In further conversation we learned that she was badly injured with short term memory loss.
So what was the response? One person asked, “Was it her fault?” The dad replied, “Does it matter?”
The dad’s response didn’t stem the flow of inappropriate comments. Another person asked, “Did they catch the driver?” He said again, “Does it matter?” He followed with, “All that matters is she’s alive. And, it could have been much worse.” And it got worse as another dinner guest joked, referring to her memory loss; “Just think, your jokes will be new again.”
After the dinner I apologized to the dad for all the awful comments. He shrugged and said he was used to them.
Is this an isolated case? I’m afraid not. It left me wondering, why weren’t the dinner guests more empathetic? And why should this dad who has gone through a horrific experience with his daughter have to develop thick skin to deal with such insensitive comments?
It would be helpful if everyone would not only think before they speak but ask themselves, “How would I feel if someone said this to me?”