yeah, I suck my thumb... so what?!

I don't suck my thumb, but my kiddo does and when people make uninvited comments and antiquated assessments about it, I am momentarily baffled.  Why?  Mainly because my child is Minding His Business (perhaps these people need to take a page out of that book?) and  neither of us asked for personal opinions on thumb sucking.  I've noticed that people just trudge right on in to uninvited territory to say, you're too old to be sucking your thumb or stop that.  We just look at the offender like they're a fool.  And they are.  Because offering an opinion when no one cares what you think--evidenced by the fact that they didn't ask-- is synonymous with foolery.  Typically I want to offer them a warm glass of shut the hell up or quip off some uninvited advice of my own: yeah, you're too old to be tanning and orange isn't a good color for skin anyway... or  maybe you should try thumb sucking instead of smoking, drinking, overeating or whatever... or Hey there Stranger, thanks for the ten second voluntary parenting tip, but no thanks. Really.  

But then I remember that 
a) mean is ugly
b) I need to treat people the way I want to be treated
c) responses like that are not representative of my best self      
d) it's best to respond with the truth in love

So, I end up saying (with a smile!) something along the lines of you know, we're not worried about it, so you don't need to be either... or he'll know when it's the right time to stop sucking his thumb... or my husband sucked his thumb when he was a kid and he's an awesome guy, so pretty sure, he'll be just fine too. 

Sounds much better than shut the hell up, right?

So me and my cute lil' thumb sucker move right along happy and carefree as ever.  And then later on I started to wonder: Why do we think we have the right to tell someone else-- who we are not in charge of-- what to do?  While I am a fan of encouragement and challenge even (when relationship warrants it and it is absolutely necessary) I do not believe we have the right to verbalize indignation and concern over the personal preferences of another, especially when these personal preferences are not hurting or infringing upon the rights of others.  When and why did we stop taking the time to care, question and perhaps understand rather than make swift comments and  harsh judgments about such trivial matters?  It's foolywank.  So please, let's stop offering our uninvited opinions and stop attempting to boss the lives of others, which will help us all look a little less foolish, really. What do you say we all get outraged, undignified, bossy and nosey about the things that actually matter like poverty, prejudice, sickness, disease, and injustice?  United we could do so much to exact change in a positive and meaningful way.  I wholeheartedly believe we could make a difference where it counts, and if a thumb sucker is in our midst, so be it.  


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