There is a very effective and true saying. If you are going to love someone, you must love yourself first. How very true this is. I think it goes double, triple or more, for respect. If you are going to respect someone, you must respect yourself first. Let’s consider it in these terms, you could love somebody or you can respect somebody. But if you respect somebody, you really don’t have to love them. If you love them you should respect them. Therefore, respect should be more wide spread and with that just alone as a proof, we need to have a deeper respect for ourselves so we could respect others.
In our world today, we do lots of comparisons. We are driven to them in many ways, by our media, by our advertising and in many ways we could easily erode our self-respect. We get frustrated, we then get to a point of not respecting others when we do not respect ourselves. Self-respect then, is our number one and first and arguably most important theme to cover under the umbrella of respect. A long, deep and important umbrella, I might add, that is something that we must really foster in our world today.
In Noble Strength Dojo, I stress as much as possible to people to not look at anyone else’s training except yourself and to strive to get a little bit better each day that you come into the school. This should be a philosophy that we look at in our life whether we are performing martial arts, we are trying a musical instrument or if we are looking to foster a relationship with somebody. A little bit of progress will go a long way and it will certainly ripple out to others.
Consider for a moment my two good friends, beagle mixes Daniel and Spartacus. Daniel, the miracle beagle, as you all know him, was more than likely a prospective hunting dog. However, he probably didn’t make the grade and because of that, early on, he was discarded. That is a likely scenario considering where he was found. Now obviously others didn’t respect him for his lack of hunting dog ability but I will tell you that he doesn’t have a problem respecting himself. He really doesn’t’ mind that he isn’t a good hunter. He only cares about what he is good at.
Similarly and, on the other side of the coin, Spartacus is probably too good of a hunting dog, which causes us to keep a close eye on him. However, because of that he was discarded also but he, like Daniel, really didn’t care. He respects his ability, he cares about it and will not change. Believe me, the point here is clear. Daniel and Spartacus will respect themselves, thereby they will respect others even if, what they do, and its done naturally as a dog will do, especially a hound, is not respected by others.
So let us consider looking at ourselves very closely and finding a deeper level of self respect. Let us also step back for a moment and realize how quickly we can loose it.
I was driving into the gym not too long ago and someone in front of me stopped abruptly for apparently no reason at all. I became angry, I shouldn’t have, I admit that, but I did. In the course of becoming angry who do you think I lacked respect for? Was it the person in front of me or myself? I will give you that answer. I lacked more respect for myself and it had a rollover effect to the person in front of me. By my action I didn’t respect myself although I should have. So it can be easily lost, this whole very important concept of self respect, but it is even more easily gained when we can focus on it as we should.
Now I will tell you that you will see more peace in your life. I will tell you that you will see a ripple out effect to others if you could harness this important area of self-respect. Here is were we will start this journey of respect and we will be successful at it. There is some self respect and some confidence that we need when we are tackling any issue this one being an all important one.
So my friends let me put out some action items for you. I would like you to determine three things about you that you have, not in the past, but you will today, begin to respect about yourself. They could be very simple things, as simple as a smile or are as complex as you choose them to be. I would urge you to start with something simple. Then I want you to focus on them, and only them, for a few days. Say to yourself continually that that is what you respect and appreciate about yourself.
For the next couple of days I want to see if this in fact rolls out to others, if you see yourself having a deeper respect for others. I am willing to say that you will. If you need to and I urge you to, consider the stories of Daniel and Spartacus. How easily they hold on to that very important respect for self and then yes, they respect others with a great deal of love and respect every day. Thank you.
TAKE NOBLE ACTION
- Determine 3 things you respect about yourself. Then carry them through the week and repeat at least once a day.
- Start small and think about one or two things that you respect in someone else.