When We Do Not Realize What We Are Saying

by Catherine McAuliffe

I've been thinking a lot lately about things that we say without realizing the messages that we send people with our words. It all started with an off-handed comment from someone that I knew she meant as a compliment but the underlying implications were hurtful. Ever since then I've been trying to take a look at different scenarios in life and figuring out what words and what phrases I use that might be sending out messages so far from what I am trying to communicate. This thought process has often revolved around my job and the people we at Northwest Harvest serve. 

I've been lucky enough in my life that I haven't needed to visit a food bank or meal program so I have no idea what that experience feels like. I have also been lucky enough to come to understand that there is no difference between our clients and myself. The fact that I haven't been to a food bank is just a matter of luck and I'm aware of that much. I've often wondered though what messages individuals and society sends to people who do utilize these services.

I stumbled upon this blog post this morning and it presents a perspective from someone who has used a food bank and because she didn't fit the description of what some people think a food bank client looks like she encountered situations where she received some interesting messages. It seemed like a good thing to share since she can offer the perspective that I can't. I apologize if any of the language in the post is offensive, there are a couple of swear words but it seemed worth the share despite that. 

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