It is All About One’s RESPECT LEVEL
Recognizing … respecting … everyone has their own challenges, even if that challenge is wealth and good fortune, is how we overcome our own feelings of jealousy, envy, and trying to keep up with those who have more money and material things, who have the talents, abilities, jobs, the relationships, the community status, etc. we want.
But what challenge can wealth possibly bring to such people’s lives? By their very circumstances, such people attract jealousy, envy, lack of compassion, lack of privacy, lack of peace … and just look at how many famous wealthy people’s lives end in tragedy.
Of course, the other extreme is the many without enough food, medical care or education, even if they have a decent place to sleep. Jobless or with different goals than the “normal mainstream,” such people also experience jealousy, envy and the desire to keep up appearances in order to keep the harmful emotions other people’s judgment of them attracts into their life … scorn, disdain, ostracizing, etc.
And in the middle of these two extreme groups of people … the people who have more than the impoverished and therefore feel superior, but also resentful of those who do not have enough, which they believe takes away from what they have for themselves … that their lives would be easier if such people did not exist.
Yet, ironically, the wealthy feel the same way about those in the middle … who, on one hand, idolize the wealthy, are obsessed by them and their wealth, yet at the same time also are jealous, envious, and go into extreme debt in trying to keep up with appearances … to show others in the same pack they are worthy of being jealous and envious of because of what they have.
Personally, thinking about everyone with a higher Respect Level than I have most of my life, has freed me from the constant barrage of negative judgment about myself and therefore naturally about other people. My hearts goes out to all because we all have challenges to face and overcome in order to finally start thriving.
I thought my childhood was impoverished, but I have since learned that though those times were quite challenging, food was always available and in fact, was often plentiful and good. I thought my teenage years were rough with all their challenges … an early marriage turning into a nightmare after quitting high school to get married, then remarrying, returning to school, moving to the city, and securing an excellent job that paid very well and also showed me first hand what people could have and I was astounded and like many people thought, “Hey, me too. I could … should have all that too … even though I had been fortunate enough that my salary doubled after one year of school.” Instead of being happy, grateful, I stressed on and on about what I did not have and though I often would not admit it, I was often jealous and resentful, searching for many to blame for what I did not have versus being grateful for what I did have. I was angry and felt betrayed by those who had taken advantage of my low Respect Level, who previously and subsequently have paid poverty wages and treated me disrespectfully in other ways too.
Since then, I have experienced and seen real poverty … not the kind defined by not getting or having what you want but what one needs to just survive. I have been homeless a few times, however, thankfully not for long. I have had to lean on our system to help me survive while I searched for ways to adapt differently from what I had previously learned and acted upon.
Shaped by a culture that values what people have, I too have experienced the prejudice born of that conditioning and the ignorance of that conditioning that judges people on what they have and the many other tools of prejudice.
This little story is but a small sampling of what our culture, local and global, does to people because the culture is based on what I’ve named the Disrespect Philosophy … the belief, often unconscious, that no one is valuable … worthy of respect … unless such a person meets someone or some group’s arbitrary “qualifier” of wealth, status, looks, race, etc.
However, what I am discovering as I raise my own Respect Level … the valuation of myself … the more I value other people … their differences, including their financial wealth, and now I can see the extremely wealthy with a fresh perspective … I can see through their eyes as easily as I can see through the impoverished and the majority eyes … and I can say “No” to jealousy, envy, and trying to keep up the appearances other people expect so that I can better spend my time and energy in developing my potential to the best of my ability, minding my own business, and by example, inviting other people do the same … to respect one’s self at the same level one respect others.
And for those people you chose to look up to, go ahead, admire them for what they have achieved by their own merit … but not for what they have inherited or what has been given them for those things do not define who they are either … they are circumstances that come with their own challenges, including not being fearful of losing what they have gained.
Over the years, I have had much money and things and also very little, yet I have discovered on my quest to help others and our world that truly what I have externally have really does mean nothing if what I have on the inside is not valued … respected by me … because my level of respect for myself has determined the level of respect I have held for others.
Learning this has freed me from wasting valuable energy on jealousy, envy, and trying to keep up the appearances someone else has decided, consciously or not, they believe I should live up to. Undoubtedly, I assure you it is how you will also be freed.
I believe you are valuable … each and every one of you … simply for being a life. And once you believe it too, then you can begin to be and do your best … with whatever you have to work with and you will be feel good about your life no matter what is happening to and around you … that is freedom … the freedom that creates peace in your and our world.
KAT … Kaitlin Ann Trepanier
All Rights Reserved by KAT … Kaitlin Ann Trepanier, Altruistic Entrepreneur, Connecting the Dots … with The RESPECT PRINCIPLE Author and global initiative Developer and Distributor … because every child … every person … should know, by their own experience, they are valued … RESPECTED. ©