Respectful Mind

A respectful mind involves

- welcoming differences and having an understanding, awareness of and appreciation of differences among human beings and human groups.

- in a world where we are all interlinked, intolerance or disrespect is no longer a viable option

- responding sympathetically and constructively to differences among individuals and among groups ‐ ie avoiding as much as possible, thinking in group terms

- seeking to understand others on their own terms

- extending trust to others who are different

- working with those who are different

- extending beyond mere tolerance and political correctness

- it is not about winning "popularity polls"

(NB Ideally this attitude starts at birth, so role models are important, especially parents; involves being humble)

"...no doubt human beings have deeply entrenched inclinations to delineate groups, to identify with and value members of their own group, and to adopt a cautious if not antagonistic tone to other comparable groups, however defined and constituted. But such biologically accented explanations have limitations......they do not account for the contours, breadth, or flexibility of such ingroup-outgroup distinctions......we......must somehow learn how to inhabit neighbouring places - and the same planet- without hating one another, without lusting to injure or kill one another, without acting on xenophobic inclinations even if the group might emerge triumphant in the short-term......human beings to accept the differences, learn to live with them, and value those who belong to other cohorts..."

Howard Gardner, 2006a

Furthermore,

"...respect emerges as time- and situation-specific, rather than as an assumption that governs our human relations......respect should not entail a complete suspension of judgment. When a person consistently acts disrespectfully toward others, that person should be called to account..."

Howard Gardner, 2006a

Need be careful of stereotyping and caricaturing, and

"...exhibiting mere tolerance, without any effort to understand or work smoothly with others; paying homage to those with more power and status while deprecating, dismissing, ridiculing or ignoring those with less power; behaving reflexively toward an entire group, without attending to the qualities of the specific individual..."

Howard Gardner, 2006a

 

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