Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One Thing That Makes It Hard To Make The World A Better Place: Wanting To Be Liked. A Guest Blog By Tracy Tai

Tracy is a good friend who shared this story with me. It was so moving, I asked her to write this to share with all of you...

On Tuesday, I received an animated Christmas joke email from my cousin. It was a titled, "Your First Gay Christmas Card".

My first instinct was just to delete the email. I delete lots of emails. I don't enjoy chain emails that are forwarded. I love the fact that a friend is thinking of me but I don't feel the need to read and respond.

But this email made me think of my dear friends who are a two dad family. So I decided to be polite yet a tiny bit brave and respond to the email.

Here's what I said

Dear .........,

Hello. It is nice to hear from you. I hope your Christmas lights are up and the tree is decorated.

Please don't send me any gay jokes. We have very close friends who are a two dad family. And I just don't see the humor in gay jokes.

Thanks very much,


As minor as this may seem it was hard to do. WHY? Because I want people to like me.

I certainly don't want to offend or hurt anyone's feelings. I try my best to be as kind and compassionate a human being as I know how. And I know my cousin is a really great person. Devoted husband, father and grandfather. Hard working and happy to lend a hand to anyone who needs it. Just the sort of person you don't want to offend.

But as a mom of two young boys - I often tell them that doing the right thing and having everyone like you at the same time seldom works out. So I took my own advice.

I responded with kindness and I'm glad I did. Perhaps if more people said - "hey that's not funny" even when the joke is unrelated to them the world would truly become a more compassionate place.

Happy Holidays to everyone,


"Perhaps if more people said - "Hey that's not funny" even when the joke is unrelated to them the world would truly become a more compassionate place."

Now you know why Tracy is my friend. More than that, you know why she's one of my heroes.



Amber Lough said...

That's a great post. It's difficult to do the right thing. It always is. But if the right thing wasn't hard to do, we'd never grow, right?

At least that's what I tell myself. ;-)

Sarah Stevenson said...

Very inspiring--thanks for posting! I admire Tracy for taking a stand even when it was difficult to do so--sometimes it's hardest when you're dealing with family members or others you're close to. In a similar vein, I remember having to grit my teeth and chastise an uncle for making a rather racist joke about Chinese people--when he should have known full well at that point that I was married to someone half-Chinese! Anyway, bravo.

Cuppa Jolie said...

What a lovely friend. Nice post, Lee and Tracy.

MissA said...

What a wonderful post! It's so hard to do the right thing, but so worth it in the end :) I try not to use words or expressions like 'you're retarded' (sadly a very common expression) or 'that's so gay' (and not meaning happy!)