Do not look down on other people.

Strong people do not put others down, instead, they lift them up. One thing that makes life interesting is that we do not all live it the same way and we are definitely not the same. Some are more fortunate than others and acquire more things than others. Where you are in life does not necessary mean where you will be tomorrow or in future.

You might be rich today, owning every possible possession in life but you might loose everything in a matter of seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc and become poor tomorrow or in future. You might be poor today, with no single possession in your life but you might gain everything in a matter of seconds, minutes, hours, days, etc and become rich tomorrow or in future.

That is the reality of life. We choose different careers, homes, hobbies, romantic and family arrangements. Unless people’s choices involve hurting themselves or others, it doesn’t make sense for us to be bothered by the fact that other people take different paths than we do. Get rid of arrogance from your heart.

Do not ever feel the need to look down on someone; not for anything that the has been given to you. Your wealth, power, good looks, money, etc. Remember, in your arrogance all that can be taken away from you in seconds.
Always have your feet firmly planted on the ground and stay humble.

Do not look down on others, no matter how less well-off they appear. Remember, the one you look down on today might be the person you have to look up to tomorrow. Such is life! And yet, disapproval abounds.

Whenever we make a big decision, especially one that involves a large investment of effort or resources, we want to feel like we have made the right choice. To ward off regret, we have a tendency to idealize the option we chose and devalue the one we rejected.

For example, after someone decides to buy a house in the suburbs instead of a house in the township, they may start to see suburbs living in a more positive light and township living in a more negative light, than they did before.

For the most part, dissonance reduction is adaptive. It prevents us from falling prey to the grass-is-greener on the other side syndrome or constantly doubting ourselves. Almost anything we do or do not do in life is likely to have some downsides and we are better off not dwelling excessively on them.

One place where these tendencies can go awry, though, is when it creates rifts between people simply because they have made different choices. It is great to focus on the positives of suburbs living, but not when you tell a township friend how bad you feel for people who have to drive everywhere.

Even if you do not openly express these thoughts, they can still impact your feelings towards others, which might come out in subtle ways.

What is the solution, then?

Being aware of our tendency to idealize our choices can help keep judgmental impulses in check. It is useful to remember that most decisions have pros and cons and just because a choice has downsides, does not mean it was wrong or that it needs to be justified against alternatives.

The next time someone seems to cast a judgmental eye on the choices you have made, remember that their judgment may be more about them than about you. Maybe they are facing stressors you are unaware of and just trying their best to cope.

Like the song by the late Lucky Dube says: “Do not look down on people on your way up the ladder because you might meet them on your way don. That is the way it is.”

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Until next week Tuesday, bye-bye for now.

Yours Truly
Tshepo Ishmael Phetoane
Editor: FS News Online
Email: iphetoane@fsnewsonline.co.za

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