Respect for the Rights of Others

Good morning, all! “Respect for the rights of others” was searched for four times, and I wish to address that today. To look at how to do this, it is necessary to look at what I believe another’s rights actually are. So let’s discuss them.

Cultivation of Differences

First, the biggest thing we can do to respect another is to tolerate one’s differences. In fact, we can celebrate the differences of each other, encouraging others, and ourselves, to greatness. The differences of others is what brings richness to our lives.

The second thing we can do to respect another is to treat them with kindness and consideration, just like we would want to be treated. When I say “consideration,” I am referring to consideration of one’s beliefs and one’s feelings.

It is the right of another to be treated as a worthy being, simply because they are living on this earth. We each are inherently worthy and we can respect that of another.

Acknowledging one’s individuality is another way to show respect for them. We spend lots of time trying to get others to be like us, to think like us, to act like us. Is that because we feel insecure about who we are ourselves?

If we respect someone’s individuality and cultivate their differences, think of the harmony that would be created among us. Similarly, if we respect OUR individuality and cultivate OUR differences, think how we would shine in the world.

So, armed with these things – tolerance, cultivation of differences, kindness, consideration, and encouragement of individuality – we will be showing respect for others’ rights.

What actions do you take which show respect for another? Leave a comment and let us know.

 

 

 

 

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The Purpose of Resentments

Good morning! I hope today is a pleasant day for you. I was affected by three search terms this morning: why is it important to respect rights of others, what purpose do resentments serve, and how does compassion help. Wow. Three very important issue and I’d like to address all three today.

Let’s start with why is it important to respect rights of others? In a nutshell, my response to that question is because it is the considerate, kind, and appropriate way to treat others. We each, in my opinion, have the right as people to be treated as if we matter, to have our rights as people  treated with respect, to be respected for who and what we are. That is, unless we are harming others, and that I don’t respect.

But consider this, if we want our rights respected, we need to offer it to others first. Then it will come back to us. When we respect another’s rights, they thrive and grow, becoming all they can be. For example, my rights to have a safe and happy home, to be treated as a valuable being, were not respected while I was growing up. As a result, as an adult I had great difficulty being myself, let alone growing into my greatness. It was only after learning to respect myself that I overcame that early treatment and have been able to grow.

The rights we each have, in my opinion, are to be treated as valuable human beings, worthy of consideration and kindness. We have the right to be in safe environments, rather than ones in which physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional abuse are present. Consider that you want your rights to be respected and, therefore, you need to respect another’s rights for that respect to be returned to you.

Let’s look now at the purpose of resentments. In my case, my resentments served the purpose of keeping me a very closed and self-centered person, seeking attention in the form of pity. My resentments gave me something to spend my energy on. It gave me the free license to be critical and demeaning toward others.

Perhaps the most important role that resentments play for us is allowing us to avoid being responsible and accountable for ourselves. We place the blame for our woes or failures on another and that takes the attention and the heat off of us. After all, it is difficult to look at and own our own behavior, especially when it is poor behavior. This is the only benefit to keeping resentments and, in my experience, when cleared of them, I experienced great freedom and peace.

How does compassion help? Well, for me, compassion was the precursor to forgiveness. Compassion softens everything, allows us to see others as humans – fallible. Often, we can see our own behavior being played out by another, and that leads to compassion not only for the other, but for ourselves as well. Yes, compassion is a softening emotion, easily practiced when we look at our own foibles and bad behavior.

How does compassion help you? And do resentments serve a purpose for you? How about respecting the rights of others… what do you see as another’s rights? Leave a comment and let us know.

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The Right to be Respected and Respect Others

The right to be respected and respect others… one of the search terms that led someone to my blog yesterday. I felt compelled to speak of this topic… respect of self and others…

What is it about respecting ourselves and others that has so many people stumped? I mean, they don’t do it easily. That is evidenced by all the fighting that occurs… between people, between nations, between our own ears. Why is it so difficult for us to respect ourselves and others? That’s what I want to know.

I suspect it is fear… fear of something and I’m not sure what. Usually, behind shunning or disrespect is the inability to live and let live, to accept the differences of others and delight in the differences that they present. You see, the differences that others present is the rich fabric of our lives. The more we engage in celebrating the differences of others, the more respect we can offer them.

Maybe people are unable to respect others because they feel insecure in themselves. Perhaps, they need someone to put down in order to build themselves up. That’s a sad commentary, isn’t it? The fact is that we are all different and unique and in that uniqueness, lies our beauty. “One is not more beautiful than another, if we will only look, if we will only see.”

These are the words from my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. The title of the verse and photo which are paired with these words is Cultivation of Differences. The photo shows the knobs of a gate and the knobs, three of them, are black, brown, and yellow. Clearly, I am making a statement about cultivating the differences between people of different color.

In my book, I go through a process of how to get to the point of respecting and tolerating not only others, but ourselves as well. I wonder whether we stumble in our self-respect and tolerance because we are feeling unworthy as a being. Feeling unworthy is not a fun place to be. It leads to all sorts of maladies, and lack of self-respect is just one of them.

So, if you are one who feels unworthy about yourself, showing no self-respect, then what can you do? How can you move through that? One thing you can do is a performance appraisal, a self-appraisal. Specifically, do the part of the appraisal where you identify all your good points, all of the positive things about yourself.

From that,  determine what you do in your daily life to honor those positive points about yourself. Is not respect for who you are warranted? I suspect it is. In fact, I know it is, for we are each worthy, valuable, and to be respected. Look at how you treat yourself. Is it with respect or do you speak of yourself, treat yourself, poorly, with condemnation?

This is not advisable, for it erodes your spirit, your soul. It erodes the essence of who you are at your core. At your core is beauty, uniqueness, worthiness. Are these not issues to be respected for? I think they are.

Look at yourself. Take a hard and deep look within and see what you are doing in your life to respect yourself and others. Once you can show respect for all, you will know a new kind of peace. Sobriety is easier to maintain when you begin to respect yourself and others.

Just remember one thing… someone else’s importance or traits does not detract from your own greatness. The world is big enough to hold all of us in our greatness and this is worthy of respect.

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The Right to be Respected and Respect Others

The right to be respected and respect others… one of the search terms that led someone to my blog yesterday. I felt compelled to speak of this topic… respect of self and others…

What is it about respecting ourselves and others that has so many people stumped? I mean, they don’t do it easily. That is evidenced by all the fighting that occurs… between people, between nations, between our own ears. Why is it so difficult for us to respect ourselves and others? That’s what I want to know.

I suspect it is fear… fear of something and I’m not sure what. Usually, behind shunning or disrespect is the inability to live and let live, to accept the differences of others and delight in the differences that they present. You see, the differences that others present is the rich fabric of our lives. The more we engage in celebrating the differences of others, the more respect we can offer them.

Maybe people are unable to respect others because they feel insecure in themselves. Perhaps, they need someone to put down in order to build themselves up. That’s a sad commentary, isn’t it? The fact is that we are all different and unique and in that uniqueness, lies our beauty. “One is not more beautiful than another, if we will only look, if we will only see.”

These are the words from my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. The title of the verse and photo which are paired with these words is Cultivation of Differences. The photo shows the knobs of a gate and the knobs, three of them, are black, brown, and yellow. Clearly, I am making a statement about cultivating the differences between people of different color.

In my book, I go through a process of how to get to the point of respecting and tolerating not only others, but ourselves as well. I wonder whether we stumble in our self-respect and tolerance because we are feeling unworthy as a being. Feeling unworthy is not a fun place to be. It leads to all sorts of maladies, and lack of self-respect is just one of them.

So, if you are one who feels unworthy about yourself, showing no self-respect, then what can you do? How can you move through that? One thing you can do is a performance appraisal, a self-appraisal. Specifically, do the part of the appraisal where you identify all your good points, all of the positive things about yourself.

From that,  determine what you do in your daily life to honor those positive points about yourself. Is not respect for who you are warranted? I suspect it is. In fact, I know it is, for we are each worthy, valuable, and to be respected. Look at how you treat yourself. Is it with respect or do you speak of yourself, treat yourself, poorly, with condemnation?

This is not advisable, for it erodes your spirit, your soul. It erodes the essence of who you are at your core. At your core is beauty, uniqueness, worthiness. Are these not issues to be respected for? I think they are.

Look at yourself. Take a hard and deep look within and see what you are doing in your life to respect yourself and others. Once you can show respect for all, you will know a new kind of peace. Sobriety is easier to maintain when you begin to respect yourself and others.

Just remember one thing… someone else’s importance or traits does not detract from your own greatness. The world is big enough to hold all of us in our greatness and this is worthy of respect.

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Cultivate the Differences We Find In Others

Cultivation of Differences

One of the more exciting behaviors we can adopt to maintain our sobriety and bring us peace, is to cultivate the differences we find in others around us. It is exciting because we are always in a state of wonder about others when we decide to live this way. 

Just like we would with a garden, we tend to the differences we discover. We go out into the world looking for those differences, and we celebrate them when we find them. We honor others when we do this.

We start with the obvious differences… sex and color. We adopt the philosophy of “live and let live,” and we realize that “One is not more beautiful than another. Each has beauty in its own right, if we will only look… if we will only see.”

Once we discover and cultivate the differences we find in others, we can apply all the behaviors we have learned up to this point, like tolerance, respect, compassion, and kindness. We practice these principles freely.

When we do this, we will know a solidarity to our sobriety, and we will know peace

Today, look at the people around you and celebrate their differences. Know that their value does not detract from your own. Like the gates, “what thrives in one spot does not grow in another.” Remember that we want to cultivate the differences we find in others. Celebrate when you find these differences, as they add to the fabric of your life. 

 

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Dialogue with Others

“If we as individuals cannot speak to each other, how, then, can we as nations achieve peace?”

This is the verse that accompanies the next image in the book. We are walking through my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing, one topic at a time. Our goals are sobriety and peace.

I was struck with awe when I saw this gate, as the little men seemed to be not only talking to each other, but listening as well. They seemed to be engaged in dialogue.

We as humans need to get ourselves together on the inside, and when we do, we then need to be able to communicate and interact with others in a meaningful way. When I say “meaningful,” I am referring to talking in a kind and respectful manner.

I listen to those around me when I am in public places, like the grocery store, and I am struck with how many people speak to each other in a mean or sarcastic way. I cringe when I hear this, thinking to myself that there is no kindness shown… no respect. And my heart is sad, believing that there is another way to talk with each other that is less hurtful.

As we engage in talking with another, we can, as I said, show kindness and respect. We can also show tolerance. There is no need to be sarcastic or defensive. And, one of the biggest things we can do when engaged with another is to listen to what they are saying, to have an interest in them.

Don’t worry. We will each get our chance to talk about ourselves and, if we don’t, then it was not meant to be. The other had something to get off their chest and we were the sounding board.

Yet, in a perfect world of dialogue with others,  it is a give and take of conversation, an ebb and flow of ideas, thoughts, and feelings. This makes for a rich and satisfying exchange for both parties.

In your conversations, are you kind, respectful, and tolerant to the other? Do you listen to what they are really saying, taking the time to not worry what you will say when it’s your turn to talk? Do you dialogue with others, talk with them, or do you talk to them? Today, be conscious of your dialogue with others and see if that feels different for you.

 

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How to Respect Another’s Individuality

“We ask of others to follow our dreams, to be like us. Why?” 

Why, indeed! “Why can we not celebrate the talents and skills and differences of each other, encouraging others and ourselves to greatness, daring to stand out, to be unique, to be individual?”

Such is the verse that accompanies the image to the right in my book Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing. We are continuing on through the book in our search and quest for sobriety and inner peace, and today we are looking at individuality.

This verse was prompted by my experience of always being compared to others and being found deficient, almost every time. My dreams and talents and skills were rarely applauded for the fist 16 years of life; instead, I and my interests were compared to my sisters and found to be stupid, a waste of time. 

As a result, I have struggled with daring to stand out with my uniqueness, my talents and skills, until I became sober, did some healing work, and found inner peace.

We do great disservice to others when we compare them to ourselves or another, rather than accepting and applauding them as they express who they are in their soul. We are negating their Spirit-given talents and abilities, who they are at their very core.

Perhaps, the number one thing we can do to encourage individuality in others is to have a firm belief in and appreciation of who we are ourselves. We can work on ourselves to discover these things. When we do, we can go outside of ourselves and truly appreciate another who is different than us.

We no longer see the other as a threat, needing to be cut down, when we feel secure about who we are. Rather, we rejoice in all the different people that exist in the world, confident in the knowledge that the differences lend texture and richness to our lives.  

It is this single action that will bring us respect of individuality in others. Ask yourself today if you can truly see yourself with respect for your own individuality, and then observe how free you are to appreciate the individuality of those around you. 

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Improving Your Communication Skills

“If we as individuals cannot speak to each other, how, then, can we as nations achieve peace?”

Such is the verse for our topic today, improving your communication skills.

Let me be clear about the fact that I am not a communications expert, but I do observe people and their communication, and I do know what prevents me from communicating with others.

What I observe is a lot of bickering, bullying, and putting others down. Why do we do that to each other? Why can we not speak with gentleness and kindness to others?

I think of the reasons that I do not communicate well to another and it is usually when I am feeling low, or “less than” about myself, or when I am very shy. I retreat inside, unable to come out and participate in dialogue.

I am talking about the kind of dialogue where each party is free to express their feelings or thoughts without fear of ridicule or belittlement. How can we, as listeners, be active participants?

First of all, we can show respect for another as they are talking to us, remembering that each person is unique and worthy of our respect. Remember, we are focusing on cultivating differences between us and others.

Secondly, we can show tolerance for that person, allowing them to have their own opinion, even if it differs from ours. Remember, just because they say something of worth, it does not detract from our value.

Third, we can show kindness and gentleness as we set about talking to others. Remember, we each just want to be acknowledged for who and what we are, so we can pay attention to those around us.

Fourth, have compassion for another as they trudge with purpose through their life. Remember, show ourselves compassion also, for the frightened people we may be when it comes to approaching others and talking.

With respect, tolerance, kindness, gentleness, and compassion, we can engage in dialogue with others, allowing ourselves to show that tender side of ourselves. When we practice these things, we can also listen well, which is the other part of communication. Remember, listen to what others are saying and hear with your heart.

How do you engage in communication with others? Do you need a brush-up on your communication skills? Do you do all the talking, or do you allow room for others to talk? Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

 

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Growth of Character

I was drawn to the beautiful sweeping staircase behind this gate, and the interesting growth on the wall made me think of our lovely growth of character that develops as we follow the principles of living.

Growth of Character

Growth of Character

The verse asks, “Do we notice the character of another, grown over time on the wall of one’s being?” Then it asks if we notice our own character, evolved over time on our own wall. “Do we groom the moss and mold, encouraging new growth to flourish?”

One of the kindest things we can do for others and ourselves is to notice one’s character, and to recognize its growth over the years. It is a form of acknowledgment, of respect.

We each are interesting beings, with a character that has developed over time because of our unique experiences in life. This is to be honored – in others and in ourselves. 

When I titled this photo, I was thinking of Joe, an elder gentleman I met on a bus on the way from the parking lot to the Wooden Boat Show in Port Townsend, Washington. It was September of 2004.

He was hampered by a disability, and, yet, he was filled with enthusiasm and life. We struck up a conversation and I could not help but notice he was full of character. A nice friendship developed from that and the lunch we later shared.

We each have a character, grown over time on the wall of our being. We can continue to cultivate it as we age, lending grace to that process, as with Joe. Just as we notice that growth of character in another, we can notice it in ourselves. And, through living good principles of living such as we have been discussing, we can groom it, such that it flourishes.

Just for today, notice the character of another and offer it acknowledgment and respect. Just for today, notice your character and do something to encourage new growth. Then stand back and admire the beauty you find.   

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A Promise of Peace

Peace at Dusk

Promise of Peace

And, so, we are brought to the last topic in my book “Opening the Gates of the Heart: A Journey of Healing.” It is peace. The verse in the book is: “When I practice the principles of love for myself and others, the gates of my heart melt into the glow of dusk and peace rises to greet me.”

Even as I type that and read it aloud to assure it’s correct, I feel a deep, calm and settled  feeling in my heart. Knowing what path my life took to get me to this peace, it feels like a miracle and makes it all the more special.

Has it really been ten years ago that I was in deep depression and in the depths of despair, only able to drink and cry over an unrequited love for which I left my 20 year marriage? At the time, I thought I wanted to die, and stopped feeding myself to that end. Later, I would realize that the unrequited love got me out of my highly dysfunctional marriage. So, it was a gift for me.

But I couldn’t see that at the time and, so, proceeded to drink myself into oblivion every day for months. Finally, I got the spark of a will to live, and during that moment of clarity, I realized I needed to stop drinkiing. So, I set off to San Diego from the San Francisco Bay Area, to live with a girlfriend and get sober.

Now it is ten years later and life has become a gift and a blessing, filled with great joy and inner peace. In the interim, I have been through hell and back as I have had to feel my feelings and pain without numbing them with alcohol and drugs. In the process, I have developed a whole new awareness of myself and the world around me.

I have been reconfigured into a different person. I have learned to love myself and then others. Compassion, tolerance, and respect have filled my life and heart. I have found the peace for which I searched in my marriage and my drinking. Funny how I had to leave both behind to find it…

The journey I took is what is reflected in my book. It uses photographs of wrought-iron gates I took and verses with inspirational quotes about life that I wrote, to show the path I took in my travels to wholeness. It’s not a how-to book, yet if you purchased it and followed the steps I took along the way, perhaps you would find peace, also. And if you’ve found peace within, then join me in to book for a quiet , yet, triumphant celebration.

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