Wednesday, January 27, 2010

How About a Little Compassion?

As I was standing in the grocery line this evening, I browsed through this week's notable and highly-esteemed news source, In Touch magazine. I flipped through some photos of plastic women in overpriced dresses and the essential who's cheating on who articles until I reached the REAL news that spills the beans... Kate Gosselin is stressed! The magazine featured a photo of Kate popping one of her little one's in the mouth, reportedly after scolding the youngster. I didn't read the entire article but saw blurbs about how Kate is falling apart; Kate is reaching a boiling point with the kids; Kate is caught again roughing up the kids, etc. I do not regularly write about celebrities or current news, but this issue really needs to be addressed.

Here's what I know-- Kate Gosselin is a single mother of eight children, due to a humiliating, heart-wrenching divorce that dominated television and magazine headlines for months. Even if the divorce had not been a very public one, it was still a divorce. I'm very grateful I have never had to experience divorce and pray to God I never have to, but having watched many friends, family, and clients go through this hellacious struggle, I know it ain't pretty! Divorce is just about one of the toughest events a person can possibly face, even if the divorce is from a cheating, abusive, or just plain obnoxious spouse. It is still an ending of everything you once believed your life was going to be. This is made all the more agonizing when there are young children involved. Can you imagine the agony when there are EIGHT young children involved?

I do not ever want to try to excuse poor or abusive parenting. My point is this-- why is Kate Gosselin being stressed considered news? An article that went something like this would really be news: "After a public and grueling divorce, single mother of eight, Kate Gosselin, demonstrates patience and profound tolerance with her children. While on an outing with the eight children, a frenzy of paparazzi snapped photos of the cheerful, well-rested Kate embracing her children and laughing kindly at their sibling squabbles." Of course this woman is stressed! She is alone, and I would imagine angry, scared, humiliated, and emotionally disoriented! She is a human being. She is not perfect. Her husband is across the country jet-setting with his latest 20-something love affair, while she is trying to manage their children. Before we cast stones, let us consider for one moment what it must feel like to be Kate Gosselin.

We need a kinder, gentler world where we reserve judgement. We are all human and, thus, prone to mistakes. I thank God my mistakes are not broadcast on the evening news. Can you imagine going through some of your most difficult times and having reporters capturing your entire experience? Heaven forbid you show circles under your eyes, take the kids to school without any make-up on, or publicly discipline a child who just publicly acted a fool. How different our world could be if, for even one day, we reported from a place of compassion and understanding, and refrained from reporting intrusively on other people's life-altering and personal moments. I think the best reporter of Kate's demeanor, feelings, and behavior would be Kate herself, if and when she is ever willing to share her story.


  1. Wow! Brilliant post! I have many times thought the same thing myself, and your take on it is absolutely wonderful, thank you!!

  2. Melissa, you said it! How sick is our world that the public is hungry for these stories about the trauma of others.
    I see no compassion in much of the media and they feed a public which has no compassion for the subject on front page.