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Start with Respect

Every group of oppressed people can be reached to participate in the struggle for liberation if we reach correctly. The first job is to counter the fears, suspicions, antagonisms, resentments that have been installed between us. This means a sharp stand against all sexist, racist, condescending, and invalidating statements and language of all kinds. We all begin afraid of each other. We have been conditioned to fear anyone who is different. We are so afraid of the unknown.

We can learn to love and trust each other, but we must begin with an attitude of respect, of complete respect for every human in the world. This should start with the newborn baby. We know by now from a lot of observation that each baby is born with complete self-respect and the expectation of being treated with complete respect and admiration in every way. Unfortunately, few babies are treated that way.

Complete respect for every human being in the world is required. The love and trust can come later. This is going to take some time—to love and trust beyond suspicion—but we can start with respect, with respect, with respect. There is no human being, no matter how reactionary his or her patterns are, who doesn’t deserve respect as a human being.

Harvey Jackins

From pages 50 to 51 of RoughNotes from Liberation I and II

(Present Time 188, July 2017)

Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00