In this season of personal values clarification, my second and final personal value is RESPECT. Respect for the person – myself and others. As I did with the first value, here is my attempt to articulate what I mean by RESPECT.
Respect – inherent value given to myself and others just because we exist. The belief that all have capacity and worldview that are worthy of acknowledging. The assertion that we all have a story that is worthy of hearing and being curious about and, because we do, each of us deserves some space to allow that story to be a part of the larger narrative.
In my case – respect is about the individual. It is not about actions or opinions.
I may or may not choose to respect the actions or opinions of others. I hear people say “I respect your opinion.” I’m not sure, in all cases, that I do – nor do I feel obligated to. What I do respect is a person’s right to have an opinion (or action). I respect that there are experiences and worldview that have brought all of us to have an opinion. But that doesn’t mean that I respect that thought or action.
Given enough time and learning, I may not even respect the opinions I feel convinced of today. God knows there are opinions that I had years ago that I refuse to own today. Therefore, the respect I value constantly struggles to manage the difference between the values of a person and the value of their opinions/actions. Time gives all of us the opportunity to evolve in body, mind and heart. No one needs that time more than I do. It is time that I believe all of us deserve.
That is respect to me.
Supporting Values: Collaboration, Trust, Diversity, Accountability, Boundaries, Clarity
Notes on respect from my living:
- Listening better (listening to understand – not to be understood) generally equals more effective respect.
- Stay curious longer. Resist the quick trigger to declare others infidels in the wake of your supposedly superior opinions.
- Own your opinions – but own them in the same way that you hope others will own theirs – as a platform for further discovery. Not as a club to beat one another over the head with.
- Protect yourself. Everyone doesn’t value respect as you do. That is their choice. As a result you must protect yourself in appropriate ways when faced with disrespect. There is no value in self-deprecation at the hand of another who shows no respect.
With values articulated…what am I to do with them?
More to come.