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When respect is unequally accorded

 Ordinary greetings say a lot about how people regard others in life. One thing I noted is that Kenyans have a habit of asking where a person is based at after they are done with salutations.

 Greetings. Photo/COURTESY

I came across a joke that said that it is usually a trap. That people want to know what you are doing or where you work so that they know the amount of respect they will accord you.

Sad but very true. Usually, when they know you are not doing anything worth writing home about, they discard you as a bother and a "time wasting encounter".

Okay, there is nothing bad about piquing one’s curiosity that they want to know more about you but why the sudden turn off? After they know that you can help them, they save your phone number and the rest is a story for tomorrow.

Can’t we have a habit of respecting everyone equally? Treat others how you would like to be treated.

It is important to learn to say hi even when you do not have anything to say after salutations. No need of profiling people based on how they can help you and not how you can help them. It is unfair and selfish.

In organizations, we meet many people but how humane we are is measured by how we treat those who are our juniors, those who do not know us or are strangers.

You will see ‘big’ men brushing around sweepers in a hotel or big office but it is the same sweepers who they will beg to know where the key to washroom is. This will be during such a time when they are pressed and have no other option.

If such self-entitled folks had learnt to ‘give’ respect to all, they would not be in an awkward position where they feel sorry yet they are not sorry. Even if they are, they do not mean it.

Next time you greet a person you know and are interested in knowing more about them, give them time to tell you what they are comfortable divulging not your urgent agenda.


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