Have you ever witnessed something that people do that really ticks you off and you just want to shake the whole world and make them wake up? It happened to me yesterday.
Yesterday I was at the post office in a very long line. There were probably 10 men and women in front of me. The lady directly in front of me was about 8 months pregnant. She had one letter and kept shifting back and forth, obviously uncomfortable. I struck up a conversation with her about her due date and that I wished that people would notice her and let her go in front of them. I told her that in the stores in London, pregnant women get to cut in front of the line. It is customary there for pregnant women to be treated with respect.
She confided in me that she was not only huge, but very uncomfortable and having some additional issues in relation to her pregnancy. She was grateful that someone paid attention to her in that condition and mentioned that it was usually women who seemed to help out most.
Watching how the people just didn’t give it any thought whatsoever and didn’t offer her a chance to get through the line quickly reminded me of so many times that I’d see very pregnant women standing on the subway in NYC or the Metro in DC. I understood it during the winter when women are covered up and their stomachs aren’t showing much, but in the spring and summer, I’d regularly see men (and some women) look up and avoid making eye contact at the woman who would obviously like to sit.
On occasion, my boldness has come out and I’d politely ask another rider if they’d be willing to give up their seat for the pregnant woman. Or, if I had a seat, I’d jump up and allow the future mommy to have a seat.
Before any body writes me to say that they don’t want to get beat over the head for trying to be nice, let me save you the trouble. They won’t. You know why? Because they’ll probably be so shocked that anyone noticed their state so they’ll be grateful regardless of whether they take you up on your offer.
And if you are a woman and HAVEN”T been pregnant before.. or if you are a man who has not experienced childbirth with your wife, then let me clue you in. This is coming from a person who wanted the women to keep this stage of their life quiet and to get over it and talk about something else, so I know a thing or two about it.
Childbirth is one of the most remarkable things that one human can do. It’s a total state of sacrifice and love for another person. It’s also one of the most painful things that a woman can endure. It can make your emotions go ape wire, and your body experience extreme fatigue. It can be painful during the pregnancy and it can be torture during delivery. Any woman who goes through childbirth is a hero. Babies are all miracles, but the mommies are true Heros!
So WAKE up people! Treat these women special. Ask other people to let them sit down on the bus or the subway and get up and let them sit down if you are already seated. Or, if you are in line in the grocery store and see a mommy that is dealing with a toddler getting out of hand, then help her OUT and let her jump in line in front of you.
Noticing people in need just takes one second out of your time. Helping them just takes a few minutes. But being a model for others can become a way of life!