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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