Posted by Todd Smith
Discrimination in our communities and in our places of work takes many forms, but it always involves some form of exclusion or rejection based upon a negative judgment toward a person’s gender, age, religion, race, weight, nationality, handicap, sexual preference, or height.
Today’s lesson addresses discrimination of all types and is intended to help you see that each of us plays an important role in ending discrimination against those with whom we live and work.
Although it seems as if the reasons we should be concerned about ending discrimination are so obvious they need not be stated, I think it’s important that we keep in mind how damaging discrimination really is. The list of why discrimination is wrong is long, but here are the two most powerful reasons:
What Discrimination Looks Like
Awareness of the problem of racial discrimination is probably the highest it’s ever been, and most would probably agree that we’ve made measurable progress on race issues in this country in the past generation. But we still have a long way to go.
To help frame how prevalent all forms of discrimination are today, let’s consider a few common examples:
In each of these cases, the individuals who may be turned away are being discriminated against for a host of different reasons: their gender, their looks, their income, or their political affiliation.
I can think of no valid reason why anyone should be treated differently for factors beyond their control, nor should they be viewed negatively because of their beliefs.
Your Role in Stopping Discrimination
I titled this post The End of Discrimination Starts With You because you are the only person you can change. If enough of us make a daily, conscious effort not to discriminate, it is possible for real societal change to take place.
In my own personal and professional life, I am more prone to help someone who I believe is discriminated against than someone who is not. When I see that someone is disadvantaged because of something beyond their control, I go out of my way to befriend them and help in any way I can.
Therefore, I am challenging you to start looking at everyone as equal and going above and beyond to support those who likely feel discriminated against. When you do, you benefit from knowing it’s the right thing to do. In addition, you will be showing greater respect to those around you and will present yourself as someone with a balanced and tolerant worldview.
If you wish to join me in taking an active stance against all forms of discrimination, here are some ways you can begin.
“It is often easier to become outraged by injustice half a world away than by oppression and discrimination half a block from home.” —Carl T. Rowan
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Todd Smith is a successful entrepreneur of 43 years and founder of Little Things Matter. This blog contains over 200 of his timeless life lessons.
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