Monday, November 25, 2013
Don't Be the Person No one Wishes to be Around
Last night I facilitated a retreat. Many of the younger group members wanted to have this meeting because they wanted to leave the group. They wanted to leave because the older group members were rude and disrespectful to them. It really made me think about my own behavior and how I treat coworkers and friends that are younger or how I treat the less affluent. Do I talk to my students in a manner that is condescending? Am I so set in my ways that I cannot learn something new? Am I the person that talks about everybody but neglects to see the faults in myself?
I don't want to be one of those women. The women who are of a differing class that cannot understand that a young woman without a job does not have money to buy a new outfit for a function. Those same women that talk about a younger Soror that has not arrived at their financial status. I don't want to be the woman that looks at a young girl that is sexually active and call her "fast", when there are clearly biological factors that contribute to her behavior. I don't want to be that person that calls comments on someone's appearance and not factor in that most folks have extenuating circumstances. I refuse to be that person. I recall an older relative commenting on a young pregnant woman whose stomach was out and her clothes were sloppy looking. She said, "I don't know why these young girls don't wear maternity clothes." I looked up from my meal and told her, "Maybe she couldn't afford them." Don't assume things about people. And truly don't assume things about people you don't know. Take time to ask questions. You would be surprised at who needs a helping hand. They may be afraid to ask.
We live in a society that is quick to make fun of people. We are quick to tear each other down, and that is totally wrong. Everyone's life is not a reality show. It is not for our entertainment. People have feelings and emotions just like you or I do. We would do well to remember that.