Devaluing Another Human Being

Photo by Leigh Patrick on Pexels.com

How does it start?
We think ourselves as better than them.
And we may be better. We may be smarter, have a better education, a better job, be more capable, have more money, better prospects, be better looking, be stronger, etc.
But the moment we say, ‘take notice, I’m all these things and you are not,’ we begin to devalue the other. Devalue as in ‘they don’t have what I have, they will never have what I have and should be content with their lot.’
To start down that road is dangerous. Soon we will be making judgments based on those beliefs.
Mistreatment will follow.
Resentment will be elicited.
We can be better than another human being simply because we have realized our potentials in ways they have not, for whatever reason.
But to devalue a human being is to reduce them in such way that we think that even if they had got the opportunities we were given, they would not have been able to do what we did. The devalued would have come up short every time.
Devaluing others narrows our world.
It limits our ability to appreciate differences and leads to the shortening of our horizons.
One way to counter the possibility of devaluing others is to practice kindness.
Indiscriminate kindness. All the while exercising the limits we consider appropriate.
One way to affirm that we value others is to speak up against injustice of any kind.
Even if it may cause us discomfort.
Doing so helps us discover our voice if didn’t know we had one or enrich it if we did.
Having a voice is a powerful asset. It leads to our developing the sense that we can think, which put us in intimate contact with our uniqueness.
Tyrants everywhere are counting on our devaluing others, not properly valuing ourselves and losing our voice. So they, in turn, can do the thinking for us.
Mobs do that. Political mobs. Religious mobs.
Today we have lots of mobs here in America, each asking us to join their way of thinking.
Strength in numbers, they claim. We have done the thinking for you. Join us. We have done the work for you.
Our capacity to reflect, to weigh the pros and cons and make a choice is our most important possession, more important than material wealth.
In Russia, today, Putin claims to be speaking for 125 million people.
And he believes it’s okay to send a missile into a mall and a train station and kill 23 people, in addition to the thousands he’s already murdered, because no voices will speak against it.
One hundred and twenty five million people surrendered their voices to mob thinking.
How did he do it?
Slowly. Convincing others he knew better. ‘Leave it to me,’ he said. ‘I’ll think for you.’
How did he do it?
Saying it’s okay to devalue others, ‘those Ukrainians are not made of the same stuff we Russians are made of, so it’s okay to kill them.’
And Russians agreed to it.
Only Putin will one day tell us what made him into the man willing to force such brutality.
In the meantime, we have to learn to look hard into the lives of those who want to lead us to make sure they have kindness in them, and that they have practiced it, because if we don’t find kindness then there will be brutality.
Many men and women have given their lives to give us freedom. And many more will do so for it’s in them to fight for that precious gift, like Ukrainians are doing today.
The way to honor them and all those others who’ve sacrificed to give us freedom, is not to lay a wreath at their tombs, for the great majority may have no tombs, having been buried in unmarked graves, but to let our minds think, let our voices ring loud and dare to speak up in the face of injustice.

oscarvaldes.medium.com, apple podcasts

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