Yesterday I had the occasion to observe a long series of images that were displayed on our very large television. Before I proceed, I am reflecting on the awareness that it is a device of substantial size. When you grew up with black and white, often very small TVs, the givens of today’s boxes are always worthy of mention.

In any case, I had reason to witness numerous pictures of myself and (unfortunately) formed an opinion on each one of them as they were displayed. At the end of the sequence, I voiced a very strong reaction to the shots of me, to which my husband responded, “They are all about memories, not what you look like.”

He was right and I realized this after virtually no time reflecting on his statement. We have a common problem of disliking images of ourselves – we’re too tall, too short, too thin, too fat, too old, too young, etc. But it occurs to me that we preempt the observations and feelings of others by vocalizing those judgments. It’s almost as offensive and intrusive as talking out loud in a movie theater.

While we are certainly entitled to form opinions about ourselves and others, perhaps we violate the rights that others should be able to preserve without contradiction. In other words, you may remember that day as a happy, emotional, enjoyable or image-filled experience. By voicing a clearly biased reaction to a sight or picture, I am interrupting or ruining that memory.

The next time I see similar scenes, I will withhold vocalizing negative comments. In addition to their being unnecessary, by doing so I can support the positive perspectives of someone else. Shalom.

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