Each of us have a place in our society. Each of us has a role we play. We all try our best to live up to the expectations of our role. It is like every player in a football team has a specific role to play and they try their best to play their role to the best of their ability. Life is no different. Let us look at our daily life. We see people play different roles right through the day. It could be the newspaper boy who drops your morning paper. It could be the security guard, who guards your community premises. It could be your maid, your driver or even your cook. We cannot imagine our life to be complete without each of them playing their role.
Some of us have a tendency to belittle some roles in life. Even in the professional field, some people may consider their jobs more valuable than others. This is more of perception than reality. The best example are the fingers or toes in our arms. All the fingers have the same value although may play different functions in our daily chores. But, imagine the thumb thinking that she is superior to the little finger and makes us believe so. Then we realise the value of the little finger only when it is injured in an accident and we are unable to use it for doing our routine tasks.
It is like in the age old caste system in India. Some castes considered themselves upper castes and others were considered lower in the social strata. This is more of a mindset issue. In my view all human beings irrespective of their caste are equal in every possible way. They ability to add value to society depends on their knowledge, skill and attitude rather than caste. Modernisation has proved that caste has nothing to do with the growth of the human kind. But, traditionally people belonging to the upper castes did belittle the lower castes in society. This is a more psychological limitation of the upper castes in their mind rather than a reality based on scientific facts.
I sometimes wonder why do we belittle people around us. A child sometimes ends up even belittling his mother because she may not be as educated as the kid. The child believes that being more educated gives him the right to underestimate his mother. Time and experience teaches the child that education cannot make you superior to others. It could add value to your knowledge but cannot necessarily substitute experience or hone your attitude to life.
We see this behaviour within the precincts of the organisation too. People in particular positions think that they are superior to the people doing others jobs. It is like a white collared staff thinking that he is superior to the blue collared workman. The staff does not realise that he can never make the product a workman produces ever in his life even if he tries his best. This is not because he cannot ever but does not have the skills to do the same. It is true for all professions and all roles. We may be highly qualified from the best Universities but cannot compare ourselves with someone else, who has skills we do not have.
The truth is that societies also tend to value roles differently. Every society values some roles more than others. This could be due to historic reasons or due lack of adequate awareness of the different roles. But I do believe that evolved societies respect all roles with equal reverence. This is the true reflection for human development. This can be seen in developed societies where nobody is hesitant to share what they do since every role in the community is equally respected.
We need to learn to respect every role in life. There is no justification of belittling others and then justifying it. I would say that is human limitation to belittle others. It reflects more in our inability than ability to know others and their value in society. We need to learn to respect each and every person around us and their contributions to life. This is the only we learn and grow in life.
It may be belittling to dinosaurs to compare them with humans as in the photo above.
Let us start to respect everyone around us from today.
S Ramesh Shankar