Every­one de­serves re­spect

The Star Early Edition - - LETTERS - Farouk Araie

EFF LEADER Julius Malema’s com­ments against In­di­ans, while on his KwaZulu-Natal cam­paign trail, were un­for­tu­nate and war­rant a re­sponse.

Let me try to lay out the main path of ar­gu­ment, which was lost amid his di­gres­sions and ver­biage.

A com­mon fea­ture of post-apartheid South Africa is that all race groups dis­play racial ar­ro­gance. We have, in the process, for­got­ten the virtues of re­spect.

English his­to­rian Lawrence Stone said: “Re­spect for our­selves guides our morals, re­spect for others guides our man­ners.”

If we could look into one an­other’s hearts and un­der­stand the in­di­vid­ual chal­lenges each of us face, we would treat one an­other gen­tly, with love, pa­tience, tol­er­ance and care. Re­spect is a univer­sal lan­guage.

It is a hu­man right. Ev­ery hu­man be­ing de­serves re­spect and also de­serves to be treated with dig­nity.

Ev­ery hu­man be­ing has value and this is why re­spect is to be ex­tended to every­one. Our hu­man worth is not de­fined by money or sta­tus; it is some­thing within us – it is what makes us hu­man. In a rain­bow democ­racy, like ours, the most highly prized qual­i­ties are hon­esty, re­spect and tol­er­ance.

Re­spect is a ba­sic moral value, a need that makes us aware that we are hu­man be­ings, not mod­ern-day slaves to be pul­verised into sub­mis­sion.

Re­spect is a two-way com­mu­ni­ca­tion which builds un­shake­able bonds be­tween peo­ple re­spect­ing one an­other’s dig­nity.

Our hard-won democ­racy has re­spect as the cor­ner­stone of our daily in­ter­ac­tion with our fel­low be­ings. Dis­re­spect is moral degra­da­tion. Benoni

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