Greetings and salutations, Three Yards readers. I want to welcome you to the first installation of my weekly Friday article. It is my own list of practices and ethics that guide my daily life that I want to share with you. Today I will focus on respect, so lets dive on in.
Seeing as this is the first entry in the code, I will make it the one I feel is most important. Respect. Respect is defined as:
“Esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.”
Thanks to Merriam-Webster for the excellent definition; however, respect is deeper than that. It speaks more to a feeling of innate connection to those around you. An idea of connection to everyone you meet so that you treat them as you want to be treated. The golden rule is basically respect in a nutshell.
The reason I value respect so highly is that without it, the rest of the code falls apart. Respect for your fellow human beings on the basis of their very existence is something for which we should strive every day. It will be hard mostly because this means separating how you feel about someone and respecting them. You do not know the circumstances of someone’s life so how can you say with any certainty that the person deserves your respect. The most you know is that they exist, and that should be good enough for anyone. Respecting someone on the base level that they are a human is insane to try, but try you must. It will be difficult, but you can do difficult things. Strive to respect others for the core of their beings and you will be rewarded for your effort. People will pick up on your respect and begin to emulate it.
Respect towards people is the foundation, but you need to extend that to the objects that people own as well. It is not correct to respect a person then turn around and treat their property like trash. This idea leads into proper etiquette, which I will save for another time, however I will just briefly touch on it. If you have a cold beverage, use a coaster. Ask before using anything of which there is a finite supply or that will need to be washed. These are some easy-to-remember guidelines that will help you to be more respectful towards others’ property.
This should also help dictate how you act in public as well. If you make a mess, clean it up. It may take some time or dirty your hands, but the code dictates that you try to make the world better than you found it. I like to conduct myself following that old camping proverb, “Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints.”
The final facet of respect is the most difficult for people to do on a regular basis. It is respect for self. People are usually excellent at finding the good in others; however, when we sit down and take a deep look, most of us are blind to our own strengths. We instead see every personal fault, every misstep we made, and every regret we have. This stems from our lack of self-respect. If you lack respect for your person, it makes it harder to have respect for anything else. The whole idea of caring and respecting a person based on the fact that they exist extends to yourself as well. Sure, you may have made mistakes, but guess what everyone has. Do not let it keep you down, just try to move past it and do better.
Once you have a strong sense of self-respect you gain a reserve of power that you can use to fuel yourself when the outlook is bleak. Keep your sense of respect in all things strong and you will find strength that you did not know you had.
This makes the end of the first installment of the Code. Let me know what you think and give me some feedback for other ideals that should be included. Thanks!