Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Being Human

(Disclaimer: This post is not an advertisement on  Salman Khan’s latest venture).

Mostly I never use  strong bad language in my day to day communication.  But the ‘bad’ word that usually features in my dictionary almost every day , is the word ‘shit’ ( or as the Irish would say ‘ shite’ ). I remember getting walloped by my dad when I was  10 for  saying ‘shit’ to something. Since I’m so far away from my dad now , I’m continuing to use this word with joyous abandon as there is no fear of getting spanked  now:)

Other than the obvious literary meaning of shit , Oxford dictionary defines  shit [count noun] ~ a contemptible or worthless person .
(The inclusion of this definition was necessary to my post as this single 4 letter word captures the exact emotion that is needed here. I tried long and hard to come up with other alternate non –offensive words to convey my message, but pardon me , couldn’t find any other word so apt.)

I’ve here a  theory on the way  the attitudes, stereotypes, prejudices roll- it not only rolls downhill( from our perceived social standing and class) ,  it rolls laterally across geographies and cultures as well.

Take for example any IT company.  The business team think that all  developers are shit, the developers think Quality control guys  are shit and quality team thinks that testers are shit . HR thinks that all employees are shit and the technical employees  think that support functions like HR, admin, transport, finance – all are shit.  The same  Developer working at an onsite location treats his offshore counterpart developer like shit.

End of day , the same employees board a bus – where they look down at the driver with disdain , the driver feels this contempt and treats his ticket conductor( collector) like shit and conductor treats the cleaner like shit – This continues , building up in ferocity and velocity – until our entire society burns with contempt and disdain for each other

Or take another example of a hospital. Doctors have the feeling that they are better than nurses, and nurses think they are better than the medical assistants and helpers . Even among doctors, some specialties are considered superior to others.Sorry this is a Neurology conference , what are you chiropractor doing here? :)

 Why? Just because of the perception that the  role that we do is of a high – standing nature and some roles or tasks do not require as much skill/effort ; therefore we consider them beneath ourselves .

In Ireland, the thing that amazes me the most here is the simple dignity of labour. One  could be a cleaner, bus driver , nurse ,construction worker,  specialist doctor, support staff in a hospital ,shop assistant , IT whiz –  all are treated the same and with the same respect. Every job is just a job and every day, people are  working just so that  they can feed their families and spend the rest on a good time. Don’t expect anyone to be impressed or amazed   here if you spout out your fancy designation or  job title.

Pre- conceived notions prejudice’ and stereotypes of people and countries are rampant across cultures and quite deeply ingrained into the mentality of the societies everywhere. In India, we have the class or caste system, where some castes are ranked higher than others. In Ireland , there is an ongoing rift between the Republic and Northern Ireland /UK .  In Europe- Western and Central European countries consider Eastern European countries as shit . Eastern European Countries consider  Middle East and Asia as shit  . USA treats the rest of the world like shit !. Shit shit shitty shatty shit :)

At the end of the day , what we need to remember is that all are humans and every job is just a job and every place is just a place.Just  because one is based in a particular place and does a particular job, does not make them superior . Nothing or no one is superior or inferior to anyone else. When we treat everyone equally and treat everyone with the same respect that we would  expect from others- the world will be a much happier place.

We have heard phrases like ‘  Do not wear your religion on your sleeve’ or ‘ Do not wear your heart on your sleeve’  but do  ‘Wear Humanity on  your sleeve’

Being Human is all that matters!

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