Don’t Underestimate Us

“Don’t Underestimate Us”… Don’t underestimate who? I’m talking about the youth, younger people. People otherwise considered inexperienced, those who always feel like people take you and your input for granted…

Ever done something someone said you wouldn’t be able to do, or had the odds stacked against you, only because those around you underestimated what you’re capable of, or even had someone try take advantage of you, simply because they don’t think you know what’s going on or have any idea of what you’re entitled to or your rights?

With all due respect, for those who are in further on in years, and I don’t mean this in a nasty way… But for these people, gaining someone’s respect is an almost given and people tend to trust your instincts and opinions more easily. Why? Only because with life comes experience… But it’s not just getting through life and gaining the experience! You have to have learnt something as a result thereof and applied the the lesson learnt from the mistakes which , yourself have made. However, for those of us, who in the eyes of the above mentioned people, we have to fight for our opinions, abilities and skills to be heard and noticed. I’ve got nothing against having to fight for some things, simply because it makes us better and stronger people when we pull through it.

There comes a time though when it’s not acceptable and where we need to take a stand and maintain our momentum at whatever you’re are doing or with whatever is going on. This is basically when people or, in my case, a company try take advantage of you, or because they are just taking chances, assuming that you don’t know what’s going on, what they are trying to do… Or basically for whatever reason they might have come up with.

I never thought I’d ever say this, but thanks to certain elements of the education system in South Africa and the introduction of Life Orientation to the curriculum, most kids, even whilst at school and the young adults leaving shcool, come out knowing a lot more about their rights than those in higher positions or those older than us. Yes, those in more superior positions or those older than us might know these principles or rights, but either choose not to remember or have completely forgotten them. Sad actually in the society we live in today…

With the knowledge we my have, there comes a sense of responsibility to keep ourselves “in check” so as not to come across too blasé or “in your face” when it comes to using and applying this knowledge.

Remember that line from the first Spiderman movie? At the end when Peter Parker leaves the funeral, “with great power, comes great responsibility”?? Yes? Well, that’s what I’m trying to get at here. It having a position of authority or superior knowledge doesn’t entitle those to use and abuse both the knowledge or others because of it. It also doesn’t mean that you have to got sit back and watch from the sidelines as people walk all over you because you’re affraid of what might come of speaking up. It’s not like you’d sit quietly and not give a helping hand if you had a solution you knew would work with the Global Warming crisis, only because someone told you it wouldn’t work. Slightly exaggerated, yes… But it gets the point across doesn’t it?

Basically what I’m trying to get at are the following 3 things:

1. Don’t just focus on what you’re doing or what you’re good at, it helps knowing at least the basics of what is termed “general knowledge”.

2. Don’t try abuse a position you might because you have more power or greater knowledge

3. Don’t underestimate the abilities, skills and strengths of those around you because you may think they don’t have a clue.

Just some advice, use it or loose it… ALWAYS read the fine print! Know what you’re entitled to, especially on the work front and regarding the law. And lastly, its published all over, but know your rights! If you don’t know them, Google it. Save it somewhere, because one day is one day you’re going to be stuck in a situation and knowing a simple line or clause from your work contract or Conditions of Employment actcan really catch those trying to use and abuse you off guard and there isn’t much they can do about that. It’s in the contract! It’s your right.

Signing off.

Always remember, give a jackass an education and you get a


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