*trigger warning: references to suicide and abuse/violence*
When 12 year old Katelyn Davis (source: Washington Post and yahoo.com) videotaped her suicide last December, when there are shootings at airports and theaters, we often wonder why and what is going on in the world. I think part of the answer lies in a societal epidemic: the lack of value given to other human beings. I wonder what would happen if more people around Katelyn, actually valued her as a person rather than as an object of their pleasure and gratification. I wonder if some people actually sought to help others instead of taking their lives, either by their words or actions. I wonder what would happen if the people that perpetuated the awful shootings and disasters were valued instead of slipping through the cracks before they felt like they had to do such carnage and harm. Now, I’m NOT saying that the actions of perpetrators or people that hurt others are justified in their actions, because they are absolutely NOT. However, maybe much hurt could be prevented if we valued others more!
How do we value others?
-by validating them in word and thought: (for more on validation, please see my post :https://placeinthisworld224.wordpress.com/2016/12/29/on-validation-and-invalidation/)
-by not treating others like an object to be pitied or an object to satisfy our own desires. This includes everything from not mocking others to respecting others’ boundaries, to investing in others’ lives other than our own.
-by helping other people through their trials and burdens. For instance, a friend of mine at work wanted to help encourage a manager who was going through a tough time by sending him a card of encouragement and by having others sign it to show that we cared about him. Also, when I was going through a difficult time last year, a friend of mine took the time to talk to me about the difficult situation and encouraged me to keep going and not give up. Both my friend of mine at work and other friend of mine (you know who you are) have helped others and/or me immensely just by showing they valued others other than just themselves.
-along with the previous point: showing others that they are not forgotten. This not only includes helping others through trials and burdens, but something as simple as a kind gesture or a “Hey, how are you?” to someone that everyone else may not talk to or ignore. It is also encouraging others to see the good in others and themselves, especially when they are tempted to self-deprecate. It is also including them in our social and other interactions whenever it would be appropriate and possible.
-by standing up for another person when they are being devalued or depreciated. When you see or hear someone being unfairly put down or devalued, stand up for them. Don’t be a bystander! For instance, if a friend of yours is being insulted in front of another person, say something (to the offender) like,” I don’t appreciate you saying that about them. They are of value too. ” or “Please don’t say those things in front of me. It hurts them and me.” A reasonable person would say something to the effect of, “I’m sorry. I won’t do it again.” but a rude person may try to justify it or devalue you. Don’ t fall for the rude person’s excuses. Walk away from them.