In the last couple of weeks the Weinstein scandal has ripped the jaws of Hollywood wide open and now everyone can see into its ugly belly. Dozens of famous actors are coming forward with stories of sexual harassment and abuse and the public is becoming more aware of this industry’s insidious culture.
Reading about this has made my blood boil and has made me wonder how to ensure my own children are never put in a position where they feel disempowered or compromised. Because, one day they will enter the work force and sooner or later will apply for a position they really, really want.
This is what I’m going to tell them:
Never, ever be afraid to walk away. No matter what the job,
no matter how much money, no matter what the prestige,
if anyone ever treats you with disrespect, WALK AWAY.
The trouble is young people often feel trapped. They want to be hired, need a job to pay for the groceries or want to be famous so badly that they then become vulnerable. It’s not their fault they were abused. It is never a victim’s fault that a predator is a disgusting creep with no conscience.
But in a world where money is king, unless we teach our kids that nothing is more important than their integrity, they too may find themselves in a position where the desire for wealth or fame makes them choose to put their self-respect in second place.
It might be the move that sets them on a path to guaranteed stardom, but any time anyone puts their self-respect second, the price they will pay for that job or that fame will be very high. The psychological impact can last a lifetime.
So use this ugly Weinstein story to create something beautiful: a young adult with unwavering self respect.