June 3, 2015

1 Example of Respecting Different Capabilities

I blog quite often about how everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. (Please see my latest post on the subject here.) We are all unique; yet, every individual is equally valuable. 

Let’s use the image above as an analogy: All of the animals in the picture above could be classified as cute. Is the rabbit less worthy than the others because he is bigger and might appear more awkward? His ears are larger than the other animals, too. Should we make fun of him? How about that tiny, adorable hamster? Should he be treasured less because he is smaller than the others?

You might find the image cute and my analogy humorous. However, when we superimpose the analogy onto humans, it’s anything but amusing. People do get devalued because of their appearance. The object of derision can range from unique facial characteristics to life-altering physical limitations. 

How we Respect and Help Each Other

The bottom line is that individuals don’t always have the resources to effect change in their lives. That gives others a prime opportunity to help them and learn patience. Through dealing with a variety of people we learn important lessons:
  • Every individual is important no matter if their looks, actions, resources, or capabilities vary from what society seems to accept. 
  •  If a person appears to have weaknesses in one area, they are likely to have strengths in another.

She is a friend who owns a small business. Recently, she hired a young man who is challenged in certain areas. I’ll call him Chris. He comes from a background of abuse, so he has low self-confidence. Additionally, Cindy found out that Chris has difficulty reading and writing. It’s possible he is mentally slow, too.

Chris wasn’t catching on to simple, yet important, duties. As a result, he was endangering himself, his co-workers, and the clients. Cindy came up with the idea to have Chris take pictures in order to capture important details. Problem solved! The camera enables him to function more effectively in his job. He’s a happy camper!

Cindy knew the best way to help Chris improve was to determine what was holding him back, not get angry with him. She dealt with the young man from a position of respect and acceptance. As a result, she established a win-win situation. (Angry confrontations never lead to winning circumstances; they backfire.)  She even wants to give Chris more hours!

My Conclusion

It’s possible, and necessary, to be respectful and accepting in all situations. All of us have shortcomings that we may, or may not, be able to overcome.  That’s no excuse for some of us to be arrogant. Similar to the animals in the photo, everyone is different. Yet, all of us are equally worthy. Human beings come in all varieties:
  • Light skin 
  • Dark skin 
  • In wheelchairs 
  • On crutches 
  • Tall 
  • Short 
  • Overweight 
  • Skinny 
  • Intelligent 
  • Mentally challenged.
Must we categorize people? We all contribute to a more diverse, inclusive world. Why label?

How have you been kind lately?

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