R-E-S-P-E-C-T

The context:

I could start with the horrible, saddening week filled with nothing short of rage-fueled crimes in our country.  Really, I consider them a more extreme manifestation of a key issue.

Instead, I’ll refer to a Facebook post from the Association of Women Surgeons networking breakfast that apparently incensed some women because (as has been the custom for many years) there were fashion tips and tricks provided by a professional stylist. While some of the commenters applauded what was for them a fun social activity, others were incensed that AWS felt this was appropriate.

Or a Twitter post today by one of my mentee/ friends, showing her a year ago today when she was VERY pregnant and scrubbed for her last case prior to delivering her 4th child. While some of the commenters were supportive of her ability and willingness to “have it all” (a daunting task that isn’t exactly how it actually works…thus the quotes), others (none of whom had full context) were highly critical of her choices.

What if, for just a moment, we all paused to take the perspective of someone else, someone who thinks differently from each of us?

What if we held that perspective with as much care and thoughtfulness as we would want our own perspective held?

Rest assured, I am not asking you to hold the perspective of someone who is mailing pipe bombs or shooting Holocaust survivors during a bris. I’m a practical person, and there are certain behaviors and thought processes that are simply beyond the pale.

But what if we were able to ease our everyday frictions, particularly those on social media (y’all, it’s the INTERNET for heaven’s sake…it didn’t even exist in a recognizable form 30 years ago!), by taking the perspective of the other?

Is it possible that just for a moment we could add to the kindness that is so desperately needed in our world today?

Our world is filled with injustice and violence. ┬áLet’s figure out how to work together to ease those things, not compound them. Ask more questions. Stay curious.

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