12 Respecting Differences
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Respecting Differences Anyone can treat
people they know with love and respect. Tyrants do that. Your integrity and goodness is determined by how you treat others who are different than you.
Have You Ever Been an Outsider? Been picked last on a sports team? Not included in a group of colleagues at work/friends?
Not know anybody at a party? Been the only man, woman, Black, White, Asian,
Hispanic, etc. in a group? If so, did you feel lonely, invisible, or isolated? “People of color,” and disadvantaged groups (poor, elderly, homosexuals, obese, disabled, religious groups, personalities, etc.) feel these feelings often living in the American culture.
Disrespecting Differences… Could get you fired in a job because these attitudes
are a detriment to their profit margin and bottom line. We may disrespect people who are different without knowing it. Be aware of nonverbal messages that you might accidently send that could offend a certain group. Learning occurs when we become aware of others’ experiences. This can occur by choosing to make friends with somebody in that group.
Respect Ideological Differences Respect Liberal and Conservative viewpoints. Justice Clarence Thomas and prior UC Regent Ward
Connerly are shouted down at universities. Resist calling Homosexuals perverted. They are disrespected in some religious groups. Resist calling somebody who was pro marriage (for proposition 8) as sexist. Resist calling somebody who was against affirmative action (for proposition 209) as racist. These issues are complex, not simple, and there are valid points on both sides.
Oppressing Forces Though the human spirit is virtually unstoppable, many
people are victimized by conditions or circumstances like racism, incest, their upbringing, or a disability that was not their own doing. “Learned Helplessness” occurred in animals that were put in confined areas and punished when they tried to escape. Over time, they quit trying; they learned helplessness. The same occurs when people who experience continual prejudice over time. Their motivation and effectiveness goes down. Many in the Native American, African American communities have experienced this dynamic. Women and other disadvantaged groups experience the same.
Eastern/Native Cultural Values
Individual identities are sacrificed in interest of group or family identity. One grows wiser with age and the elderly are wise and respected. Present Based: Being there is more important than being on time. Collaborate
Western Cultural Values
Individual identity is not sacrificed but celebrated. Self matters. Youth. Old age is viewed as “over the hill” and losses in health and intellect. Future Based: Punctuality is very important. Compete
Learn to be aggressive
Live in harmony with nature The Great Mystery
Skepticism Pride Religious Speak up
Make an Effort to Respect…
Cultures and Customs Language and Traditions Gender Sexual Inclinations Religion Expressions of Culture: music, dance, habits, food. Ideology (you can disagree while respecting groups) Americans win more Olympic medals and create more inventions because of its diversity of talent. Valuing diversity is being honest with your own biases while listening openly to other perspectives. Valuing diversity is not a lecture on how you should think, feel, or act. It is not white-male bashing or giving “lip service.”