Recently I had the enormous privilege to spend time searching out with colleagues the essential keys to sustainable empowerment for vulnerable people, no matter the reason or cause of their vulnerability.
We noted that being valued and treated with equality is the mantra from all vulnerable groups, so we chose to explore this further. During the period we spent looking at this we found a rather surprising and indeed shocking revelation. No matter which group we looked at there was a common denominator being that there was always a hierarchy of unjust behaviour whether a group be catogerised as vulnerable or not. The hierarchy was created by dislikes and intolerances about others, even within the vulnerable group themselves.
When reality hit us what shocked us perhaps the most was that when we examined the relationships with a group of vulnerable people who had been persecuted, we found that they themselves engaged or adopted the same negative behaviour towards another group of people.
It suggested strongly to us that whoever we are and wherever we are, prejudice is a human failing. As such it is imperative that one of the essential keys to sustain empowerment has to be that every day we need to remind and correct ourselves that equality is about accepting the good as well as the unknown about each other and every sector of our societies.
That no one culture, neither religion, nor human form is better than another. We all have something of value to offer each other; all we have to do is look for what it is every day. This simple one step we believe will help us begin to ensure that equality is not just tokenism but instead sustained respect for one another.