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Anne N

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If you could advocate for ONE cause only, what would it be? Why?

Recently, I watched Faith Jegede's talk titled "What I've learned from my autistic brothers". The talk got me thinking -- Most of us have a cause we believe in, and these causes are usually diverse from increasing fashion consciousnes to saving the animals or reducing stigma of people with mental health issues.

I'm interested to know about the cause you believe in and the one you would advocate for. I'm interested in why this particular cause is important to you, and why the world needs to know about it.

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    Nov 16 2012: I'm already advocating for many causes. The one that matters the most is less noise in the environment. For example, I've lived in apartments where my next-door neighbor played loud music, and it came through the walls into my apartment. It was very disturbing, and I could not think, all I could hear was the music.

    Anne, your syntax is funny because you ask what cause people would advocate for, what do you mean "would advocate for"? Do you not think people are already advocating for the causes they believe in? In my case, for example, I have often gone next door and asked my neighbor to turn the music down.

    What cause matters most to you? Are you already advocating for it? If not, why not?
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      Nov 17 2012: I assumed Ann meant that people tend to stand for and work toward several goals or causes that are meaningful to them and that she wanted to know which they would pick if they had to abandon the rest.
    • Anne N

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      Nov 17 2012: Hi Greg, I didn't realise that the question could be interpreted in such a way, but after rereading my question, I understand your point of view. Also, thanks for clarifying what I meant, Fritzie! I did mean to say that people often advocate for and/or believe in many causes, but I was interested to know which cause they would choose if they had to abandon the others.

      The cause that matters most to me is a mutual respect between people regardless of factors that may separate them. To treat others the way one would want to be treated and to not intentionally harm anyone either physically or emotionally. To respect one another as well as one another's dreams and beliefs.

      I don't mean that people have to agree with one another. Rather, they should respect one another. I think the world would be filled with less arguments, and that more children would be able to chase their true passions and goals from a young age instead of having their dreams disrespected. Having said that, many people do practice mutual respect. It's also sometimes difficult to practice mutual respect.

      I would say that I do not advocate for mutual respect per se but I practice respecting others in my daily life and hope/ am happy when others show me the same courtesy.
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        Nov 17 2012: Well, that's all well-said, Anne. But if you're identifying it as an issue, it must mean you see a lot of disrespect in the world. Where do you see it, or where do you identify it? I think I generally see people respecting one another but disagreeing. Or sometimes I see people on a power trip, like person A respects person B but person A would like to hammer person B down so person A can feel superior.

        if you're practicing what you believe, then I think you're advocating for it. Do you find in your daily practice of respect that it's hard, that you sometimes have to fight to respect someone, or fight to get their respect? Because usually when we advocate for something we're saying we have to fight for it, that it doesn't come freely.

        Do you wish you had a cause that you could fight for in a larger sense, like do you wish you could join an organization like save the whales? Because I'm thinking the cause of mutual respect might be too vast, and subjective. It's an issue that shows up in every other issue, so it's too vast; and it's a little subjective because respect to one might not be to another. Maybe you need to find a specific issue, like animal rights, or women's rights, or..........? The issue of mutual respect could be related to civil rights, like if we're racist we're not showing respect. What are civil rights like in Singapore, is there a tolerance of different races and religions?
        • Anne N

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          Nov 19 2012: Thanks, Greg. Well, I would say that I don't see a lot of disrespect in the world per se, but I feel that practically every issue partially stems from some form of disrespect which is why I chose it as the cause that is most important to me.

          Good point about how two people may respect one another but hammer one another down on power trips. More often than not, I feel that this can be attributed to disrespect of each others' opinions though. However, as you pointed out, mutual respect is indeed subjective!

          I identify disrespect in other ways as well. For example, I feel that groups of people are often stigmatised because they are disrespected and the disrespect comes in the form of others thinking they are unable to take care of themselves/ less smart/ more cruel/ etc. I guess you could say that I think stigma is built partially on disrespect.

          In my daily practice of respect, I do not find it difficult to gain respect most of the time. Mainly because I find that when one respects others, others tend to respect oneself. There are of course, times when respect is hard-earned or hard to give. I believe this usually comes about because of a difference in values. In this case, I usually try to stop myself from thinking that I am right and the other person is wrong. Perhaps we're both different kinds of right/ wrong.

          In Singapore, I do feel that people are largely tolerant and accepting of different races and religions. For example, people often have groups of friends consisting of people of different races and religions and we often discuss one another's cultures so as to be more culturally aware. People in Singapore often invite one another to celebrate each others' festivals/ holidays together as well.

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