“Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieves it.” — Bill Bradley
We have all been in situations where we have had to work with someone we didn’t particularly like – perhaps on the job, or on a school project, or in a volunteer capacity. However, most of us have learned that you don’t have to like someone to be able to work effectively with them.
But have you ever noticed how difficult it is to work with someone you don’t respect, or who doesn’t respect you? Respect creates the foundation for cooperation. It is what allows us to see past personality differences, or differing preferences to see the value a person brings to the project.
Without respect, the ability to identify mutually beneficial goals and to work for them is hampered. We see this in all sorts of areas – in government, in the workplace, in school, and even in families. A lack of respect is one of the biggest obstacles to cooperative success.
Respect has been a value emphasized by the martial arts for centuries. It is what allows the student to learn and the master to teach. It also serves as the cornerstone of relationships between students and instructors. True martial artists recognize that each individual has dignity and value, and deserves respect.
As you train this month, consider whether your words and actions reveal a healthy respect for others. Rediscover the importance and value of respecting others and how it can positively impact your life. Go out of your way to show respect to someone who might not expect it from you.
In addition, make sure you show respect to yourself. Take care of your body, your mind, and your spirit. Doing so will not only help you feel better about yourself, but will also generate respect from others. Self-respect is the first step towards respecting others.