On the 17th of June 1962 I was born. A few miles away in another hospital bed my mother’s sister gave birth on the same day to a daughter, my cousin.
As the years developed this little girl was unlike anyone else I’d ever known. If someone told here she couldn’t do something, she tried so hard to prove them wrong over and over again. When I was down, she always knew and gave me the best hugs anyone could ever give. She would always be the first to call to say happy birthday, or just ‘hi how are you’. Although the world told me she was different and her life would forever be a million times harder than mine, I tried to believe they were wrong. This year we will both be 50, and her courage and determination to lead as a normal life as possible has been just unbelievable. She wasn’t breathing when she was born and by the time they got her breathing her brain was affected and other complications over time developed. Yet she is a remarkable lady and although I now rarely see her I have always been very proud of her.
Yesterday I was privileged to be able to host here at Healthy Lifestyles Living a blog post by Mary Hudak-Collins titled ‘Why do you treat me differently’. Today I’m standing on my soap box because it touched a nerve, as I hope it did for many of those that read it.
I cannot tolerate racism (after all I was born Jewish, and experienced it a lot), sexism and many other types of prejudices, including those against people with intellectual and physical disabilities.
Everyone deserves just as much respect as anyone else. As all men are created equal, why do people treat each other so badly?
“Just practice good, do good for others, without thinking of making yourself known so that you may gain reward. Really bring benefit to others, gaining nothing for yourself. This is the primary requisite for breaking free of attachments to the Self”. Dogen
If I could change one thing in the world, it would be how society treats people who are different.
Society treats and judges people by the way they look, sometimes they judge you by the way you sound, the way you move, by the clothes you wear, the religion you follow and now it seems also by what we can or can’t eat . And this drives me mad! People just don’t bother taking the time to get to know others before they make a judgement. And often as in the case of the situation explained to us yesterday, they base it on a lack of knowledge and lack of understanding. In Michaela’s case a little girl is being hurt, for no fault of her own, for something she has no control over, and it’s wrong, very wrong. She deserves better. But way too many people out there are suffering and are facing intolerable behaviour from others.
If each of us, tried to be more caring, made a concerted effort to treat people with respect, we would make this world a much nicer place to live in.
You know what’s so crazy, the fact that it would be so easy – all you have to do is treat people the way you like to have them treat you. Here are a few examples.
- Don’t offend people or make fun of them.
- Listen to what others have to say.
- Value other people’s opinions.
- Be considerate of other people’s likes and dislikes.
- Don’t tease others.
- Don’t talk about others behind their backs.
- Be caring about other people’s feelings.
- Don’t make anyone do anything they doesn’t want to do.
We live in a diverse world. That makes it interesting. We are all unique. If only we could get along better with each other and show more respect to each other, things would be so better for all of us.
Yes we will meet people that are different to us, and what a wonderful opportunity that brings to learn things new. As a blogger I meet people from different continents, cultures, religions, and that is part of the fascination.
- I always learn something new from them
- Discover fascinating differences in our ways of life
- Making friends with people totally different to me
This has come about by
- Never stereotyping anybody because I learnt long ago everyone is unique.
- Always showing interest in them as individuals
- Try to make time for everybody I come into contact with
So what if we are each different in our own ways? How boring things would be if we were all the same.
To me this world we live in would be far a better place if we learn to treat others the way we want to be treated. And respect them for who they are.
But when we don’t, when we treat another badly, do we ever think about the possible results. How often do we blindly move forward in our lives without thinking about the consequences that our actions may have on others?
How good would you feel about yourself if you knew your behaviour towards another was making them feel unwanted, making them feel as though they didn’t fit, pushing them into the life of an outcast.
Maybe you haven’t even troubled yourself to let yourself think about how your actions could be inadvertently impacting others. Well let me tell you something, and I would ask you to think about it, then pass the message on to others:
If every decision you made and every action you took, you deliberately avoided harming another human being, you would be making the world a better place. And if you taught 10 other people to do the same, how long would it be before our world became a better place to live FOR EVERYBODY!
Change must start somewhere, let it start with you. Start practicing love, kindness, charity, honesty, humility and acceptance.
Never forget the Golden Rule of reciprocity that states:
- One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
- One should treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.
Be humble. Bear in mind that you are not “better” than someone else. You’re an individual, different, but neither better nor worse. Everybody is equal. By bringing positivity and brightness into the lives of others you are contributing magic to the world.
“We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne”. Marcus Aurelius
To conclude for today I want to just bring my thoughts back to Mary. Getting to know her both in direct contact and from being a regular reader of her blog I have come to realise that having a child with allergies puts a strain on the entire family in so many ways. But to find that the child has to content with exclusion is so sad. In this particular situation it does seem so clear that this is caused by fears fed by ignorance. In my mind something needs to be done about it and quickly so children with allergies are not excluded. Knowledge and understanding can transform the life of an allergic child and their family, and this lady and her gorgeous daughter they deserve better than they’re getting. Please, I beseech you give Michaela, and other kids just like her, a chance. In fact give anybody different to you a chance, and help make the world a better place.
I rarely ask my readers to SHARE my articles, but today that is what i request of you. Also please comment and share your views on this very important subject