Compassion: (noun)– Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others
Log onto Twitter or Facebook on any given day, and you’ll see a compassion battle playing out in real time.
So what is it?
It’s the battle between those that welcome compassion and those that refuse to offer compassion.
The latest food allergy compassion battle took place over the recent announcement that Southwest Airlines was going to stop serving peanuts on flights as of August 1st, 2018. Comments highlighted in this recent article from The Mighty, or the Southwest announcement mentioned above, illustrate this battle perfectly. When a company alters its policies to accommodate a subset of the population, such as those with food allergies, people do have a right to be upset. However, making comments that delegitimize food allergies or suggest that a snack is more valuable than a life only fuels the battle, taking it to levels that are detrimental to society in general.
The truth is that these compassion battles will always exist.
So what can food allergy parents do to navigate these battles without letting it negatively impact their mental health or derail their empowered attitude?
Just Keep Scrolling
When food allergy families read the comments at the end of articles about food allergies, our first instincts are typically to educate and raise awareness. Therefore, many parachute right into the battle field, responding to the insensitive comments with a mixture of anger and desire to evoke change. While these intentions are good, the environment is the wrong one in which to attempt this. Realistically, those that leave negative comments on these posts aren’t people who are open-minded to change; they’re typically there to express their frustration, which is centered on how it affects them. If your toddler was screaming or having a fit, you’d likely just sit back and let them wear themselves out.
Why not do the same with these folks? If you’re inclined to leave a comment, just leave it and run – avoid revisiting to see how the battle ends. Allergist, Dr. Dave Stukus said it best in a recent tweet:
Don’t do it!!!!
If that social media post or email has you fired up, don’t reply immediately. It’s ok to step away, simmer down, and think through your replies (and repercussions).
— Dr. Dave Stukus (@AllergyKidsDoc) July 11, 2018
Be Proactive Versus Reactive
Reconnect with the Positive
TY so much-#gratitude for my #foodallergy village 🙂
Par 4 the course since I began this #advocacy but not to worry I have skin as thick as an elephant now
I used to get upset but now I become inspired by them bec these are potential passengers on #airlines – why we need policies https://t.co/zKhzaBjtVE
— Lianne Mandelbaum (@NoNutTraveler) July 12, 2018
So, what helps you navigate these food allergy compassion battles?
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