Everyone has been guilty of or been the victim of staring at some point in their lives. One particularly annoying pet peeve of mine happens to be when people just stare at me but never say anything. After checking to make sure I don’t have anything on my face or hanging out of my nose, I just conclude that they obviously have a staring problem.
What’s even more rude than staring at someone for no particular reason is staring at them for an obvious reason. I’ve seen people stare at those who are deformed, handicapped, overweight, scarred from burns or other incidents, or people with behavioral problems. While you may think it’s natural to just stare, think of how the person who is being stared at must feel. Many people who have an obviously disfigurement or disability feel self conscious about it and get sick of people staring at them all the time.
It’s easier to understand when a child stares; many of them don’t know any better yet. But for those who are old enough to know better and still continue to do it, something needs to be done. Put yourself in that person’s shoes. Imagine how you’d feel if you were going on about your business and people were constantly staring at you. And not only that, you can hear them making comments, some of which are very hurtful and rude.
I have a nephew who is autistic. To look at him you wouldn’t know anything is wrong with him. However, if you’re around him you will notice a difference in the way he behaves from most other children. Sometimes he has outburst of laughter that he can’t seem to control, he may throw tantrums, or constantly repeat commercials and other things he has memorized. It gets very aggravating not only when people stare at him but also when they make comments. For someone to try to tell you that he needs to be spanked, medicated, or otherwise controlled is out of line. Strangers have come up rudely giving their unwanted opinions or snide comments. Not only do they have no clue what is wrong with him, they don’t know what is already being done for him while they are sticking their noses where they don’t belong.
And although most children don’t know any better for some of the rude things they do, it is up to the parents to teach them. It shouldn’t be condoned when your child is talking about someone who has a disability, disfigurement, or who is overweight. Or it shouldn’t be exemplified by the parents like it is an alright thing to do. Making comments on someone’s child who has a broken arm that suggest abuse is wrong. Automatically assuming that someone who is overweight needs to cut back on their meals doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that they may have a disease that causes them to be the way they are.
Learning to watch our eyes and our tongues would go a long way as far as decorum is concerned. I know sometimes staring can be done in admiration but it’s usually easy to distinguish from when someone is just being rude, especially is unwarranted comments are involved.