"You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him"
- James D. Miles
Yesterday I heard something that really, really annoyed me. Steam coming out my ears annoyed. A simple sentence that a couple of years ago I might not even have batted my eyelashes at. The sentence was "his time is so much more valuable than ours."
You're probably thinking "Romy, you're over-reacting." And maybe you're right. After all, it was a discussion about setting up a business meeting, and in business a client's needs are always more important than our own.
But it was the word 'valuable' that set me off, because I really don't see myself as a less worthy person simply because I earn less money or don't have a six word job title.
Who gets to decide who on our planet is important and who isn't? Who gets to decide that my time is less valuable than someone else's?
They obviously didn't poll my kids, because I'm pretty certain that to them their mom is a whole lot more important than some stranger they've never met.
As I see it, this attitude that some people are more valuable or more worthy than others is at the root of all our society's ills. For a nation proud of its democracy we still haven't achieved true equality. Because equality doesn't have to mean we all vote, or we all live in a 3-bedroomed house.
True equality is where we accept that every person has value.
Last night I caught a few moments of a news report in which a 12 year old boy was talking about raping his 3 year old sister. How can a child hurt another child intentionally like this? How can this be happening in our society?
I didn't see much, because I switched channels in a hurry to get away from it, but the gist of the report was that early exposure to porn led to this behaviour.
Sadly way too many people have witnessed violence. But that doesn't make them all turn into violent criminals. No. I believe the difference in those who turn violent is that they believe the people they hurt are less valuable.
None of us has the right to decide we're more valuable than another person. We are all equal, we are all valuable. And until this becomes the norm in our society, we're all going to hell in a hand basket.
(By the way, what is a hand basket?)