Compliments denoting our differences aren’t necessarily complimentary

I haven’t written in a while (my apologies). Today, I would like to share this article with you. It addresses the ill-conceived act of complimenting the beauty of a biracial person.

I am embarrassed to say I have been guilty of giving the kind of “compliment” the author discusses here. To be honest, I had never considered the implications of my well-meaning words. Looking back now I can see the ignorance in them and I am sorry for it. I have always held the conviction that when I think or hear nice things about someone, I say it (which is like the antithesis of “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all…). It didn’t occur to me that my compliment could be insulting. Noted: sharing a compliment that denotes a difference between people may have the opposite effect it intends to create.

My mother always taught me to consider a person’s intentions in conjunction with their words, so I can only hope the recipient of my compliments knew I meant well. I am gratified the author of this article has a similar – and very well-rounded and compassionate – view of these sorts of comments: “Awkward. Well-intended. Poorly thought-through. A window into our shared cultural stuff about identity.

I have learned something very important today – something I won’t soon forget. I am sharing the article with my readers in case they have made this social blunder as well. We are human beings full of imperfections – the importance is that we work toward being better versions of ourselves when we see the error in our ways.