We live in an age where what we were taught as children no longer applies to our adulthood. How come? As a child, I was taught “good” manners and was shown, respectively. You know, how to be polite, kind, courteous and respectful etc...It was a big laundry list of “dos and don'ts”. My parents and my family made sure that I understood what “good” manners were and showed me.
It was simply things like:
- Be yourself
- Be treated with respect.
- Listen never interrupt.
- Say, “Thank you”
- Speak with kindness and caution.
- Give compliments
- Do not criticize or complain
- Act and look your best
- Don’t be boastful, let your actions speak for themself.
Translate that to my adulthood and I’m bewildered by the mannerism that exists, and the lack thereof. In today's world, we have a lost communication and practice; and that is, the basic human etiquettes. How simple would it be; if all, and I do mean all, we're suddenly accountable for our actions and basic human etiquette applied to all?
It is the thought that everyone wants to be respected, but forget that respect also has to be given. As adults our actions must be accounted for, equally. We can not simply say, “Well I am an adult, I can do whatever I want.” You are absolutely right, we are all adults here. That is why it is so important that we "the adults" must do and be better; than what we are showing the next generations. Children need to be taught by way of action. We can not say, “Do what I say not as I do?” There is something very problematic in that statement and I’ll tell you why. Our brain is a transmission of information and acts upon thoughts, emotions, behavior, movement and sensation. So if our brain is hearing one information but, is seeing another, your brain is triggering a conflict, and must decide which is true. Your brain automatically overrides what you hear with what you see. It is called the McGurk effect. This is why it is so vital that we lead by example.
We ask our children to display “good” manners, when we as an adult do not. Where is the accountability in that? If we didn't’ hold value to our word and follow it through with our actions, then why would our children? Simple answer. They would not. We must go back to the basics. We must be accountable for our actions.
Let’s take a second to ask ourselves. How much more can we sustain as a human race? In the last, 6 months, we collectively experienced never even heard of events. Australia and Brazil on record had experienced some of the biggest fires to date. There has been an alarming discussion that led many to believe we were on the path to a WW3. Then there was a newly discovered pandemic that not only shut down the entire world; but, in the US, we have seen a record high number of unemployment claims. For the first time ever, the White House had shut down. The POTUS is/was standing trial for impeachment. And lastly, we are experiencing the biggest protest not only in US history, but the world. So I ask you, have you fully digested what has happened this year? I haven’t. But, what I do know. It is time to mend what has been broken. If not for us, then who? We, the people live in this world, and we the people are destroying it. If we are destroying the world, then we are killing our race. The human race.
It is time to BE RESPECTFUL.
It is time to BE KIND.
It is time to SHOW HUMILITY.
Who cares who was right and wrong? We know what is right from wrong. We need to stop justifying the wrongs to be right and account for the wrong doings. It is said that for every problem that has arise, has risen from fear, miscommunication and misunderstanding.
So Picture this. After months of being off, you are back at work. There is a prevalent airy feeling in the office and finding your groove is just not happening. Your colleague, who you normally have a great “working relationship” with starts chit-chatting. No problem there, right? Well, the topic is Human Rights and Politics. As your colleague is discussing their views, they have suddenly offended you. Now you’re offended, and a bit unsettled you make a quick exit.
Later that day, you speak with your colleague and inform them, “While you have a right to exercise your freedom of speech, can you please keep your views private? You don’t know who you offended or the type of working environment you are creating for others by expressing those thoughts”. They laugh and tell you, “You’re so silly, stop taking things so seriously”. Encumbered by their response you decide that you need to take the rest of the day to collect your thoughts.
After a couple of days you bring the event up to your hiring manager, and now HR is getting involved. You notice that one of your colleague is talking with HR and now not only are you offended and unsettled, but appears that colleague is irate, too.
Fast forward a couple months, you and your colleague's relationship is severed. Your other colleagues are now participating in mistreatment and little has been done to fix this problem. Over the last few months they have made your work environment uninviting and “hostile”, and your performance is now being affected. So, albeit your hiring managers efforts and HR, the individuals are still participating in this ill behavior so you put in your resignation. Now what?
Let’s stop here, because although this is a fictitious scenario, all too often violating boundaries are common in the workplace. There is always that one person, who oversteps their boundary and somehow it is acceptable because that person is “likable” and they mean well. Here is the problem. Why is it acceptable?
IT IS NOT.
We must re-educate ourselves and be the solution. It is time to uplift. We must recognize that everyone came from different backgrounds and it is our different backgrounds and experiences that shaped us. We all have had to overcome battles and it is not for us to decipher the validity of them. The fact is there is a deep rooted systematic oppression. And if you are not the individuals effected by this indifference, it's not right to tell someone that is, how they should act or feel. You are not in their position. You have not experienced the inequality therefore you can not understand. All you can do is help by first listening to what is being said. Be respectful and show humility. Then if it is in you help build and be the difference. You do not have to understand it, all you have to do is respect it.
Let’s be reminded that everyone has rights, opinions and whatever those are we must show humility and be respectful, despite whether you agree or not. If we want to see change then we must look within and change within. We can not expect the change to come from someone else if you are unwilling to do the same. So, I challenge you. I challenge you to be a better you.