#Respect

It’s no longer a new concept when we tell others not to judge a book by its cover because by doing so one may miss an entire amazing story inside.

What’s new is in this modern and developed 21st century, we are still trying so hard on every occasion (such as International Women’s Day, Pride Week, Black History Month, etc. etc.), to raise awareness and create call for actions for #balanceforbetter and #blacklivesmatter.

International Women’s Day on March 8th has stood as a reminder to people globally to fight for equality between men and women. For centuries women have fought for their rights to vote, to work, to drive a car, to get equal pay, to not be abused, harassed, and be discriminated.

Shouldn’t it be obvious that we ought to recognize each person’s unique identity and #RESPECT him/her for who he/she is?

Shouldn’t it be the basic game rule for all of us human beings who survive and live because of other people’s existence to understand different value that other people could bring to the table?

Shouldn’t it be a no-brainer for all of us to treat each other in a way that we want to be treated?

I know, nothing is easy. We are still doing baby steps to move the society forward when it comes to respect and equilibrium.

Don’t judge a book by its cover. It’s what’s inside that matters.

Let me tell you a story, a story that cannot be more ordinary as it happens everyday and everywhere.

I’m a 18 year veteran of healthcare communications who have lived and worked in Beijing and Toronto. Both are big cities that have large diversified populations. However, when I moved to Toronto a decade ago, I experienced somewhat unconscious discrimination towards me while looking for a new career opportunity.

As bilingual as I can be in English and as seasoned as I can be in Communications, I still possess a somewhat odd accent. And for that, I got “kind” advice from various people whom I turned to for help and guidance when navigating through the job hunting journey.

“I’m not sure if you can succeed here in Canada. Young professionals from other parts of Asia can speak much better English than people from China.”

“It’s better for you to get face-to-face interviews with people because you are very presentable and pleasant. Try to avoid speaking to interviewers on the phone because you have an accent.”

Comments like those are from good intentions but it hurts, and as a result, it motivates. I therefore often try harder, work harder, fight harder, knowing that as a woman, as a visible minority, as an individual who is often overly conscious of the surroundings and hierarchies, I need to speak up, to stand out, to succeed and to thrive.

Luckily I ended up with working for two amazing organizations since moving to Canada, which have empowered me to be the best I can be. Both organizations are instrumental when championing for diversity, equality and inclusion. Both organizations celebrate successes and milestones no matter what skin colours you have, which origin you are from and what accent you possess.

Everyday when I come to work, I know I’m respected by simply “being me”. It’s liberating!

In turn, it helps me to respect other people as who they are and what they do. Everyone has a story and each story is inspiring.

Never judge a person by his/her skin colour, educational background, race and appearance. A person’s real brilliance has nothing to do with all of these, but everything to do with how much he/she is willing to grow, to conquer, and to make a difference in this world with one’s willpower and things that one can control.

On every International Women’s Day, we take a moment to celebrate the many good qualities that women possess and the many roles that women play in the family, the community and the society.

But shouldn’t we do this every day? Shouldn’t it be a norm where men and women are equal and all skin colours are equal?

To end this post, I’d like to share with you my wish: Let’s work towards a common goal, which is to establish a world, where we no longer need to celebrate woman on a special day, and to recognize the existence of LGBQT community during a special week.

❤️ ❤️

Everyday is an occasion for us to celebrate our identity, isn’t it?!

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