Wisdom from My Fair Lady

Eliza Doolittle

One of my favourite lines in My Fair Lady is near the end of the film when Eliza Doolittle says to Mrs. Higgins: “The difference between a flower girl and a lady is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.” She is reflecting on how respectfully Colonel Pickering treated her compared to the abrasive Professor Higgins. In some ways, she became whatever each of them saw her as.

That quote has been permanently engraved in my mind and I can’t help but bring it into my life, but in reverse. I have been as guilty as anyone else of treating people according to the type of person I perceive them to be instead of how God, the one who created them, sees them.

When someone treats me with respect, I automatically want to become worthy of that respect and a change happens inside me. Perhaps you react the same way. So what would happen if you and I treated every person we met as someone precious, someone worthy of love and respect? What if we saw the potential in people instead of focusing on their present circumstances—if we saw what they can be instead of what they are? If we saw them the way God sees them?

What if we made this a reality and not just a fantasy?


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