With the purpose of creating a community of diverse perspectives and encouraging a fresh dialogue on respect, the Respectful Workplace blog team is pleased to announce a new monthly feature written by a guest blogger. This month our contributor is Ruth Ramos, a Cleveland, Ohio based consultant.

The Beginning of Healing

Probably the most popular topic today is the presidential election, or more specifically, the candidates. As a diversity consultant, it has been amazing to watch the diversity issues that have come up as a result of this election – race, gender and age being the most discussed. I sit and listen to what the media says and what others around the dinner table are discussing and I am amazed that in the 21st century, we still have such strong prejudices and stereotypes about these issues.

I have spent some time questioning how we, as a people, have distanced ourselves so far from the core of who we are. If you study Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, all humans are born with the same needs: physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization. In the essence of humanity, we are all the same yet we yearn to separate ourselves from others.

I have also had the pleasure of studying the four most popular religions in the world, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism. Coincidentally, each emphasizes peace or love among all human beings. I find it hard to believe that in a world that is so religion-driven, we have thrown away our religious moral values and have found insignificant reasons to hate one another. And in fact, we raise our religious banners as a justification to hate those around us who are not like us.

What has happened to us? What happened to our basic human needs to love and be loved? What happened to our morals and values? And for those who do not practice a religion and were born in America, what happened to the simple yet profound golden rule: ‘treat others the way that you would like to be treated’? It’s not my intent to say that we should all love one another and sing Kumbaya together. What I am saying is that if you’re going to treat me differently, do so based on who I am as a person – my character – and not on how I show up when I walk into the room.

As we begin to embark upon a new chapter in American history (regardless of who wins the election), my challenge to you is to spend some time reflecting on your life. What has happened in your life that has removed you so far from the person that you were created to be? The person who strives for love and peace among all, the person who was taught to treat others well. It is time to move forward as a people, as a country and as a world.