Monday, December 03, 2012

Darkness and Light - 3 - Contempt

 I have almost finished Bullied, the book which inspired yesterday's post. The book contains a concept that strikes me as powerfully and deeply true. The root of bullying is not anger or even powerlessness, but contempt. To bully (on a personal level or on a societal way like Jim Crow or genocide) a person or group of people has to hold another person or group of people in contempt - to see them as less worthy of resources and life itself, less human. When I look around me, I see contempt around many everyday human differences including looks, posessions, age, spirituality, politics, sexuality, interests and life style choices. Contempt in its most toxic form allows genocide and in its more everyday form allows eye rolling, not taking someone's idea seriously, lack of empathy,and erosion of trust in relationships. So, for myself, this month I will work on avoiding labeling anybody "an idiot" or any other degrading label in my head. This doesn't mean I have to agree or approve of their ideas or seek out their company. I can even believe their ideas are dangeroous. I simply need to accept them as fully human as I am.

1 comment:

Mary said...

A worthy goal, Victoria. We must strive to rid the world of contempt, which can bring about such bad results for individuals and groups.