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HomeFokawritesIgnorance And Respect

Ignorance And Respect

We talk down to the maid like she’s a failed existence. We shout instructions to the less privileged as though he’s a fool. We look away from the homeless man as if he doesn’t exist. To some folks, these people are invisible.

Did you ever consider that these people have pride like you and me, they have feelings like you and me, and they have desires like you and me? In fact, we’re alike on so many levels because when you look beneath the surface, we all want many of the same simple things in life.

Yet some don’t see it that way. If they don’t look like us, they must be dangerous; if they are coloured differently, they must be lesser; if they don’t sound like us, they must be ignorant; and if they don’t agree with us, they must be evil.

Do power, money, and status make someone better? Do they give anyone the right to be arrogant, disrespectful, or rude? I think not. While accomplishments indicate that people are successful, they don’t give anyone the right to dehumanise others and treat them as second-class citizens or humans for that matter.

One of the reasons this occurs is due to divisions that we intentionally create or that are thrust upon us. Instead of emphasising commonalities that bring people together, we artificially separate ourselves into distinct groups that accentuate our differences.

If your success was earned through hard work and honesty, don’t apologise for it. There’s nothing wrong with living the good life (I don’t think). You’ve earned it. But if you think power, money, and status give you the right to be rude, disrespectful, or condescending, you’ve got it all wrong. No one should be treated like they’re invisible.

The truth is, while power, money, and status indicate that you’re successful, it’s not what you have but who you are that counts. As a millennial treating people with dignity and respect says more about you than trying to prove how important you are. Living with honour says more about you than achieving your wealth by selling your soul. Making a difference in people’s lives say more about you than enriching your own life.

As John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach, said, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”

Be the person who sees the best in people, makes them feel good about themselves, and brightens their day. Bring the invisible people out into the light. You’ll be a positive force for good in their lives, and you’ll feel good about yourself, too.

Be the change you want to see by simply learning to appreciate one simple and often overused word; RESPECT.

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