Reflecting on this month, the prejudices we hold against others are on display …and right now it’s looking ugly. The most important lessons in etiquette and, even more importantly, in humanity are building positive views of oneself and broadening one’s views of others. They go hand in hand. In order to respect another human being for who they are, you must first work on how you view your own character and self worth. If one feels less than worthy, it’s easy to feed off negative stereotypes of others hoping that will make one feel better about oneself.
Whether you’re looking down your nose at Lindsay Lohan for her public conduct and run-ins with the law,
or scoffing at Tiger Wood’s last win because you disapprove of his infidelity,
or judging the teenager walking down the street wearing a hoodie, we must realize that it is our own insecurities at the root of our narrow points of view.
Once we can admit the role we play in perpetuating stereotypes and reinforcing prejudiced acts, then we can decide to heal, grow and empower ourselves and our world. Then we can learn to value others’ lives and stop the proverbial and literal death of our children, our hope, our future. So let us move forward with positive, loving thoughts of ourselves and one another, and build from here.