From the professor’s desk:
I recently saw a post on social media where the writer was asking for advice on how to handle a situation at work. The receptionist in her office (who is a coworker, not a subordinate), tends to wear heavy false eyelashes that look very “fake,” and in the eyes of the writer, are most unflattering. The writer was asking, how do I tell her that she looks bad, without hurting her feelings too much?
My advice was: Don’t say anything. It’s not your place to correct this woman. She’s not hurting anyone. The lashes make her feel pretty. The end.
This situation has stayed with me. We sometimes think we are correcting someone “for their own good” – but is it really “good?” If someone feels confident wearing something, if it makes them feel important and beautiful, who am I to tell them they’re wrong? I might not choose the bohemian shawls and beads a friend wears, or the odd eyeglasses a coworker has chosen, but those are their choices, so who am I to criticize?
I think we need to extend this to people who like to put their Christmas decorations up early, or fill their homes with knick-knacks, or wear nothing but green … who are they hurting? If it makes them happy, that’s enough. Put up your Santas in July, be your bad self. Fill your world with joy, in whatever form it takes for you.
And leave the eyelash girl alone.