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There are a lot of events in the news lately dealing with race, gender, and sexuality. It’s interesting how these stories illuminate how we value someone’s experience as compared to our own. Police brutality, women’s health, gay rights, working wages, all comes down to an assignation of value. When we place less value on someone else’s experience to that of our own, we incur a deficiency of self acceptance. As an example, Donald Trump is someone who can be identified as a devaluer of others. His sordid battles with people; calling them “losers”, “disgusting”, “worthless”, “animals”, etc., are ways of trying to identify someone as inferior. Once we create this imaginary superiority, our egos have to work quite hard to maintain that image by degrading everything that challenges it.
But we are not the tallest person in the room by putting everyone else on their knees. Creating inferiority happens when there is something we have not accepted within ourselves, so let us continue to find self acceptance by giving ourselves the gift of recognizing and accepting everyone’s human experience. Everyone. Even a serial killer. This does not mean that we are condoning malicious behavior, but that we have the compassion to recognize every human experience as valid. We witness and interact with other humans under countless types of circumstances, so to think that we could fully comprehend someone’s experience by what we know or through our own involvement is not possible. Cultivating the compassion to acknowledge another’s experience as valid challenges us to find the places inside that we have not yet accepted, as well as create the space for others to be able to do the same. Together, through this work may we create empowerment to find more affinity for each other by honoring our humanity.