Last week we began our exploration on the virtue of respect, especially with the environment. We saw Benedict learning the hard way how important it is to respect the Earth. Like all virtues, respect takes practice and commitment. Thinking about how much respect we give to others in our life always helps put things into perspective.
Last month, we talked about acceptance. Respect has a lot to do with acceptance. In order to accept someone, we need to respect them. Consider thinking about those in the world we do not respect because of reasons personal to us. We then need to determine what it is we need to do, what changes do I need to make to increase my respect for another? Do I need to open my mind more? Do I need to see another viewpoint or perspective? Do I need to agree to disagree?
We’re All in This Together!
Respect is personal, but it should also be communal. We need to come to the realization that we are all in this together and that not one of us is any better or greater than another. As Seggourney said, “We must all do our part.”
The more we show respect, the more it will influence others to do the same. We have the ability to teach our children the power and importance of respect for property, living things, and the planet, but especially for others. Remember - we don't have to agree with everything people say and do; that's natural - we are all different individuals and we don't all see things the same way. But respect is about showing we can listen and converse with another even if we don't come to the same conclusion.
Next week – modeling respect for our kids!