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A mother posts a picture of her newborn. He or she looks just like every other newborn—except to Mother and Daddy, of course. The baby is precious, just like every other child born on the face of the earth.
Selfies of a nineteen-year-old girl. She’s cute. It doesn’t matter what she’s doing or with whom; she’s cute.
A recent photo of a retired couple. Nice background. Nice smiles. A few wrinkles, to be sure, but all in all, a good picture of nice people.
The family photo: Dad and Mother surrounded by progeny. It might be a family with two children or ten, but there they are. Maybe one or two of the kids are making goofy faces or not looking at the camera.
My friends and I. Posing, laughing, hanging upside down. We’re next to a cardboard cutout of Elvis.
ALL PROUDLY POSTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
And the comments?
- What a BEAUTIFUL baby!
- You are so BEAUTIFUL!
- BEAUTIFUL couple!
- What a BEAUTIFUL family!
- Such BEAUTIFUL girls! (Or “Such BEAUTIFUL girls with Elvis,” as the case may be.)
That baby is normal. The grandparents and parents think she is BEAUTIFUL—and she is, to them—but she is normal.
The teenage girl is normal. No more, no less. Yes, she’s cute, but who isn’t at age nineteen? Remember? You were cute, too.
The retired couple is normal. They’re a nice-looking pair, but they are as normal as a retired couple can be. Pops is a tad overweight, and so is Mom. They both have silver hair—only Mom dyes hers, so it looks more like blond.
The family photo is like every family photo: normal family trying to look halfway intelligent and face the camera.
My friends and me, posing next to Elvis? Normal, too—inasmuch as choosing to pose next to Elvis is actually normal.
And the reactions are always the same: BEAUTIFUL! Just BEAUTIFUL! If Grandma and your mother say it, okay, believe them. If anyone else says it, don’t let it go to your head.
What’s really true? What do we really think?
Is the baby really beautiful? The teen, the couple, the family, and my friends and me with Elvis? The pictures might be good, and the people might even be good people, but is everything and everyone really beautiful?
Let’s try to be sincere in our comments. The Bible says, For my mouth shall speak truth (Proverbs 8:7).
The little baby is sweet. He/she is precious. He looks like every other baby, but hey, what can we say that would be true? How about using words like “precious, sweet,” etc., or how about saying, “I’m happy for you.”
The teenager is cute. But so is everyone else at that age. What can you say that’s sincere? (Maybe no answer is okay, or a “Like.” Do you have to comment?) If it’s not the daily selfie, comment truthfully. “You look pretty in that color.” “I’m glad you’re having a great time with Prunella.”
Let’s face it (Pardon the pun, but I couldn’t resist.), the elderly couple needs all the nice stuff you can say about their portrait. “Nice picture.” “Very good photo of you.” And, if true, “You’re looking great.” (Leave out “for your age.” Christians are supposed to be kind.)
The family photo might be unique in some way—setting, lighting, everyone looking at the camera with decent expressions, nice outfits all color-coordinated—and you can truthfully compliment the photo. Otherwise, why not say, “Great to see a picture of the whole family.” “How the children have grown!”
The picture of my friends and me with the cutout of Elvis? I made that up. No comment needed. I would never get my picture taken with Elvis. (You may quote me on that!)
Truth. Now, that’s BEAUTIFUL!