I didn’t know why he thought he needed to lose weight.
Terry kept saying, “If a person is overweight it’s because they have no will power . . . It’s the same as cigarettes.”
So I explained to him that his conclusion is not necessarily true. I asked him, “Is the reason you are in the facility due to a lack of will power?”
He said, “No, I have a real problem”.
I explained that there are those who may have a medical condition which leads to weight gain, some could be poor eating habits, some could be because of the type of medicine they are prescribed, and others are dealing with other issues such as depression.
“That’s why they have heart attacks because they are overweight.” Terry replied.
I told him, “You don’t have to be overweight to have a heart attack.” He just looked at me as if he didn’t understand the simple fact that I had shared.
It seems that many times we can get to a point in our lives where we make excuses for our own behaviors, but lack compassion when it comes to considering others. This is where Terry is stuck, insisting that his problems are due to a ‘real problem’ while those around him are simply lacking in will power. Terry and I have had conversations like this before. He tends to speak with confidence on subjects he has limited knowledge of and spreads that information to anyone who will listen.
Like so many of the youth in this facility, Terry has had his life shattered by the things he has experienced. Broken pieces have a tendency to cut those who encounter them, depending on how
we handle them. How would you handle
Terry? How do you show compassion while also correcting error? How carefully do you handle broken pieces in the lives of those around you? Just a few questions to think about as we continue to help pick up the pieces.