Bad genes or no bad genes, excellent lifestyle habits or not, many are missing the point. The issue isn’t “some people didn’t give themselves type 2 diabetes-it was their genes!” I mean when we focus on that, what are we saying, that some people deserve to be judged and some don’t? I don’t care if someone only ate McDonald’s from their couch their entire life and got type 2 diabetes, they didn’t mean (at least not consciously) to attract harm into their lives.
How about we focus instead on educating everyone to respect each other and to support each other with whatever step of their journey in life they are on. Some people are just not “there” yet. Some people aren’t ready to change their diet. Some people are not ready to listen to recommendations from peers or experts. Some people are. Judging someone because they are somewhere you’re not is not a good idea.
Because wherever you are, I can guarantee there is somewhere you’re not and therefore, you’re just as vulnerable to the judging that goes around.
So what I’ve been pushing on myself lately is:
A: Recognize that just because someone is not in the same place in life you are, doesn’t mean they aren’t trying or that they mean harm or that they won’t succeed in the end. Can you read a person’s mind? Maybe they are mentally getting to a place where they might begin to make big, lasting changes. Your criticism doesn’t speed things up for them-your kindness, patience, and encouragement might, though.
B: Next time you ask yourself why someone does or doesn’t do something, think about what you do or don’t do. You’re not exempt of faults and shortcomings so try not to make a fool of yourself.
C: Support people wherever they are. Do they want to start training for a marathon? Cheer them on. Do they want to get outside once a week for a walk? Cheer them on and think of that feat in the same way you think of a marathon completion.
People firing back and forth over how others see them as responsible for their disease are not getting anywhere. Educate people through your actions and your goodness and honesty. Take responsibility for what you can do for yourself. Admit what you feel you’re not doing well or right. You’ll be surprised how everyone will appreciate your openness and feel they can safely admit to their challenges as well.