Be the Plot Twist

Monday, October 22, 2018
Growing up, we watched programs like Perry Mason, Murder She Wrote, and Columbo. We watched as a family and often tried to figure out the plot or guess the ending. I do the same thing with books and sometimes I get a few chapters in and set a book aside because I've assumed I know how it will play out. Lucky for me I can't leave a book sit for very long; I need to finish if I've started. Quite often, I'm pleasantly surprised by the plot twists and the ending that is nothing like I thought it would be. The lesson there is not to assume anything and wait for the plot twist.

Let's apply this unassuming plot twistiness to life beyond the screen and page. I recently wrote on social media:

Shaming is wrong.
(We can never know
another person's 
whole story, much
less their heart)

I'd like to expand on that - As a mom, it seems easy to look at our children and say "don't make fun of those kids who are different than you", but as adults, we are sending our children mixed messages. You just stopped reading and you're thinking - no I'm not. Well...are you familiar with The People of Walmart social media posts? How about those photos of people seeking people with a certain name? Do you share them? Do you laugh? Do they make you uncomfortable? I'm so confused about why as a society we are comfortable with this type of bullying and yet get upset with our schools for their inability to stop bullying with our children. 

Last week, the baby was sick and I reached in the cupboard only to find the medication she needed had expired. Lucky for me, it was just past midnight and my husband was done in the barn. He watched the kiddos and I ran to Walmart. I hadn't showered yet. My hair smelled of cow manure and had chunks of corn silage in it. I had stripped off my barn clothes and thrown on what I could find - a pair of pajama pants and a sweatshirt that appeared to have some dried applesauce on the sleeve. My footwear was a simple pair of leopard print clogs that were close to the door on my way out. I was a mess. I walked into the store and thought "I hope I don't end up a joke on someone's snapchat account". We shouldn't have to worry about this. We clearly can't write a story about everyone we meet - we can however use our writerly talents to take these uncomfortable moments and twist the plot!

See the woman in the ill-fitting top waiting in the check out line? She had on a super cute sweater but when she went to drop off her teenage daughter for school, her daughter spilled cranberry juice on her sweatshirt - so mom took off her sweater so her daughter would look nice. I don't really know every story, but when I think about the situation with this new twist, it's easier to see the positive side of the story. Here are a few more twists:

See the man with his pants falling down? A few weeks ago his pants fit fine, but since he started chemo treatments he can't keep anything down. He knows he should buy a belt, but knowing he won't be around this time next year, he doesn't want to waste the money when his wife and kids could use it more.

See the car parked at an awkward angle? That grandmother of 6 called her daughters over a dozen times asking for a ride. Everyone was too busy and she ran out of adult diapers yesterday. It's so hard to see, but she ran out of options.

You get the drift. 

We walk through life making assumptions. 
We need less assumptions and more kindness. 
When we see someone shaming someone else, 
we need to be the change and step up. 

We all have an opportunity to 
be the plot twist. Change someone's story. 
Kindness Wins!

Crystal is a secretary, council secretary, and musician at her church, birth mother, babywearing cloth diapering mama (aka crunchy mama), business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger, Blog Tour Manager with WOW! Women on Writing, Publicist with Dream of Things Publishing, Press Corp teammate for the DairyGirl Network, Unicorn Mom Ambassador, as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their five youngest children (Carmen 11, Andre 10, Breccan 4, Delphine 3, and baby Eudora), two dogs, four little piggies, a handful of cats and kittens, and over 230 Holsteins.

You can find Crystal riding unicorns, taking the ordinary and giving it a little extra (making it extraordinary), blogging and reviewing books, baby carriers, cloth diapers, and all sorts of other stuff here, and at her personal blog - Crystal is dedicated to turning life's lemons into lemonade!


Margo Dill said...

This is so true, Crystal. Thank you for saying this and bringing it to our attention.

And it's also good to get a real glimpse into what it is like to be balancing a family and a career.

Elizabeth Maria Naranjo said...

Online bullying and shaming is out of control, and it always makes me uncomfortable. There are many articles discussing teen bullying and shaming on Instagram, but I don't see the same attention given to adults engaging in this behavior on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. Thanks for addressing it, Crystal. What a lovely post.

Angela Mackintosh said...

I love your positive outlook, Crystal! Thanks for the reminder to practice kindness. :)

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