It happens. You're out and about just minding your own business, and suddenly, you are confronted with a completely unexpected and unusual situation. You're shocked. Stunned, even.
What do you do? How do you respond???!!
Relax. We're going to go through a few scenarios and provide some real-world advice on how to handle them.
Scenario One: You are walking down the street and then, without warning, you see a gay couple walking down the street, totally holding hands!
Response: Keep walking. It's not your business and it has nothing to do with you.
Scenario Two: You're sitting at a restaurant, enjoying your lunch, and you notice that the person sitting at the table next to you appears to be a transgender man.
Response: Keep enjoying your lunch. It's not your business and it has nothing to do with you.
Scenario Three: You are still at the restaurant, and you notice the couple at another table are praying before their meal.
Response: Keep eating your dinner. It's not your business and it has nothing to do with you.
Scenario Four: You're strolling through a park, enjoying a beautiful day, and you notice a group of people praying in public!
Response: Keep strolling. It's not your business and it has nothing to do with you.
Scenario Five: You're in line to see a movie when you notice a group of people coming towards you. They are acting like a family but they are obviously different races!
Response: Do nothing. It's not your business and it has nothing to do with you.
And there you have it, folks. Turns out, when dealing with a situation that is unusual for you or perhaps makes you uncomfortable, you don't have to do anything at all. Because it isn't about you. And it isn't your business.
Yes, of course, you CAN do something if you choose to. You can smile at the other person/people. You can say hello. You can treat them like human beings. And you can be a decent person yourself and make every effort to be kind.
But you can't treat them like an oddity to be discussed in earshot. You can't speculate aloud about "what they really are" or why they are doing whatever it is that you perceive to be unusual. Because doing these things leads the rest of us to believe that you are a terrible human being yourself.
Scottish author and theologian Ian Maclaren once said, “be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” And that is especially true for those who must constantly fight their battles under the watchful and critical and public eye. If you can help those people, do so. But at the very least, avoid hurting them.
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