I was compelled to write this after reading responses to an article entitled “Ontario school board aims to eliminate non-inclusive terms—like ‘husband and wife,’ ‘mother and father.’”
You can find the whole story here.
One of the suggestions in the article was that Mr., Mrs. and Ms be removed and that teachers be called by their first name.
Some of the responses suggested that this would lead to a lack of respect.
I raised my daughter to call all of our friends and family by their first names. There was never a Mr., Mrs. or MS. Not even aunt and uncle. Yet she respected all of them—at least if they earned her respect. And when she went through a phase of calling me by my first name, not for a moment did I feel disrespected.
Let’s face it, there is no respect in a word. Respect for someone comes from inside a person. Whether I call my surgeon Dr. Smith or Sylvia doesn’t change the respect I have for her ability. She has earned my respect.
I remember my father telling my mother that she should teach us to respect him. Even as a child I was aware that respect cannot be taught, it has to be earned. The same goes for teachers. They shouldn’t think that they can hide behind a title and demand respect.
The article also suggested that mother and father, husband and wife be replaced with “parents/guardians,” “partner or spouse,”
Why do some people want to ban the terms that don’t apply to everyone? Are they overreacting. Perhaps if we lived in a society that was more accepting and respectful of the “different,” the topic would never come up.
It’s a little like when women had to fight for the right to be considered people. Did they want to march in the streets? Probably not. However, when society doesn’t freely offer what is reasonable and just, people sometimes feel the need to swing the pendulum beyond the centre that they really want.
Those people, who like husband and wife and are offended by the suggestion that those terms be eliminated, might consider that being denied the terms they cherish is exactly what the “others” feel has been done to them.
When did being considerate and respectful of “other” become “political correctness,” the latest dirty word(s).
How difficult is it to ask someone what they prefer to be called. Oh right, that would mean we have to get too know them and perhaps take a few steps in their shoes.
When I can’t agree with someone on a topic, in order to know that I have correctly heard their point of view, I practice arguing their view. When I can do that convincingly, I am in a position to make a clear-headed rather than an emotional choice.
That truly is respect—for me and the other.]]>
This has been called the communication age and certainly, with Social Media, we can see how dramatically communication is impacting our lives. We seem to have an insatiable need for information.
Some of that need is for information about products and services. Some of it is the need to hear each others’ stories.
By telling our own story we learn about ourselves. By hearing other people’s stories we learn how similar we are in spite of our differences.
In 1994 I was working through Julia Cameron’s The Artists Way. Julia claims that everyone is creative in some way. Throughout the process I kept wondering, what is my creativity? Imagine my surprise when I realized that I had a gift for writing and that my story could change people’s lives.
I hadn’t planned to write a book. It was not my goal or dream. I did love to tell my stories to people and often I would find the perfect story to help them deal with an issue they were struggling with. I started hearing comments like, “You should write that down because it was really helpful and I’ll forget it,” or “You ought to write a book.”
I didn’t know how I would write the book but a phrase that had helped me when I was managing a symphony orchestra was, “You don’t have to know how you just have to be willing.” I opened myself to the possibility and watched the process unfold.
Stay tuned for the next installment.
Sketch by Josee Boyd (Cadieux) reprinted from Journey to Personal Freedom
#writers #writing #authors #books]]>
Some time ago I started a business. I was sure that this was my vehicle for creating financial freedom. It’s a good business and I’ve derived great satisfaction from being able to assist people in creating more vibrant health for themselves. Yet, I had not achieved the financial success that I anticipated.
For a long time I blamed myself, thinking that I was doing something wrong. It triggered my underlying belief that I can never be enough or do enough.
One day, I felt that I was being advised that my leadership was no longer needed. (This was a misunderstanding that was later cleared up.) At first I felt angry and betrayed and then the thought came to me that this new situation afforded me a great deal of freedom. I celebrated.
Some time later I shared this story with a colleague and she said, “So you’ve let yourself off the hook.” For a few seconds I spiralled into my sense of not being enough. Then I heard a giggle in the back of my head and felt a smile come to my lips. The Voice said, “Esther, over the last few months you have felt more freedom, happiness and joy than you have for many years. It’s not because your physical situation has changed. It is, in fact, precisely because you have let yourself off the hook.”
I then had a vision of a wall with coat hooks and people hanging on the hooks flailing. I saw clearly that I had expended a lot of energy getting nowhere because I had myself on the hook of thinking I should do certain things in order to achieve certain outcomes.
My joyful experience came from doing what I’m inspired to do. It may not be the most fun thing I can think of at the moment but it’s what I feel “propelled” to do. My deepest desire is to enjoy each moment—not waiting for happiness to come to me along with some dreamed of accomplishment.
I remember some time ago someone said something that I was about to use to beat myself up. Again the voice came to me and said, “Esther, nothing she can think or say about you can diminish your value.” I started to sit up straighter. Then the voice said, “Esther, nothing you can think, do or say can diminish your value.” I sat up even straighter. Then the voice said, “Esther, nothing you can think, do or say can increase your value.” My value is eternal. Nothing in this human experience affects that in any way. WOW.
I’ve been repeating that story for many years and yet it’s only recently that it has really integrated. My moments of forgetting are fewer and they last a much shorter time.
I now mostly live in the knowing that I can only have perfect experiences. I can’t make a mistake. I can’t fail. I am always enough, always doing enough. And so is everyone else.
I challenge you to “let yourself off the hook”. Set a time frame–a day, a week, a month – and do only what you are inspired to do. Become the observer of what you are choosing. You might be worried that you won’t do what you think needs to be done. You might be surprised. There are days when I think I want to stay in bed. Previously if I stayed in bed after that thought, I would feel guilty or justify staying in bed. Then a few minutes later something would come to mind that I wanted to do and I’d hop out of bed. I had wasted the time in bed feeling guilty. Now if I stay in bed, I watch to see what will propel me to get up. That’s not to say that I ignore appointments. When I have been inspired to set an appointment, I keep it because it was inspired in the first place. It’s not so much that I’m doing different things as that I’m being different. I’m treating myself as a valuable treasured being.
There is so much more to be said about how I got to this place. I’ve written about it in a book called Giggle Factor. www.thegigglefactor.com]]>
Are words just words or do they have an impact long after they have been said. I recently came across a book called Your Body Believes Every Word You Say by Barbara Hoberman Levine and it is just one of many that refer to the power of words. You may have heard of Dr. Emoto’s work of freezing water with words taped to them to document the impact of words and even the intent behind the words. (http://www.masaru-emoto.net/english/ephoto.html)
A word that I have noticed recently is being used with great frequency by me and others is the word “just”. Notice that I used it twice in the first paragraph. The first one is necessary, however, read the second sentence without the word “just”. It is unnecessary.
I started to realize that this word is being used unconsciously and many times it has an undesirable impact. For example, when someone asks for assistance and we say. “Just do this or that,” it has a demeaning quality. The person asking for assistance feels as if they or their situation has been belittled. If it were so easy to “just do something” the person would probably not have needed to ask for assistance.
Not only do we do this to others, but also we do it to ourselves–and we do it without thinking.
Since I noticed this situation, I have been sharing it with a few people and found that even while I was speaking about the use of “just” I still caught myself using it unnecessarily. It is a habit that I am determined to break. It is an opportunity to be more conscious of all of my words.
I decided to look the word up in the dictionary.
Here is Webster’s has to say:
Just adj fair, impartial, deserved, merited; proper, exact; conforming strictly with the facts. adv exactly; nearly; only; barely; a very short time ago; immediately;]]>
Thank you for your interest!]]>