I always try to be politically correct but to be honest I am not sure about all the rules anymore. The goal is to give good wishes without offending anyone.
Here are some of the areas that can cause concern:
- Ethnicity – This year Susan Hussey, a British noblewoman who served as lady in waiting to Queen Elizabeth II found herself in a royal dilemma. During an event that she was attending, she asked a woman about her background and was accused of racism. Hussey resigned from her position but was later re-instated. I had to think about this for a long time because if anyone ever asks me about my background I proudly state “I was born and raised in a small town in Saskatchewan”.
- Age – I remember how one of my mother’s friends who was a few years older than her husband was upset when he asked for the “seniors’ discount” at a provincial park. Some people don’t like being too young and some don’t like being viewed as old. Again, I am stuck for words because I have always been very content with whatever age I was at the time.
- Gender – This one really stumps me. One of my clients told me that when he tried to do online registration for his first COVID needle he needed help from his wife because there were several options for gender that he didn’t understand. Today, just for fun, I did an internet search and was surprised to learn that there are now 81 types of genders and gender identities. Despite this, I am pretty sure I know where I fit.
- Political viewpoint – My paternal grandfather was what we called “Staunch Conservative”. My uncle was the Liberal Member of the Legislative Assembly and my mother campaigned for the NDP. I was raised in a family who recognized different viewpoints and, because of that, joked that I had learned to be politically correct! What I meant was that I have been able to see things from different perspectives without becoming rigid or argumentative.
- Spiritual persuasion – There is some confusion about how many world religions there are as statistics vary from between 4,000 and 10,000. Because of this, experts tend to focus on the top 5 or 6. Even the Bible has 450 English translations. Then there are those who are atheistic or agnostic. Some find spiritual connection in nature or other options that are individual and outside of what would commonly be known as religious organization.
- Other differentials – We could continue to divide the world into various strata by economic status, occupations, values, living arrangements, or any number of categories.
The whole point of my article this week, is that if we are wanting to focus on division and separation, there are many, many ways to do this. My hope has always been that instead of division, however, we could recognize that every person is unique and each of us contributes in a way that makes our world interesting!
So, as we stand on the brink of 2024, I just wish each of you, no matter who you are, what you believe or what makes you special a very, very Happy New Year!