I once saw an interview with Reba McEntire where she was being asked about her long and successful relationship with her husband and if she attributed their success to love.  She laughed and said “no.”  She said that while love is important, the success of her marriage was their respect for one another.

A friend of mine is in a relationship where I don’t see any respect. When they become angry, they blame the other for not being what they
thought they were. There is drama, passion and crazy making but I don’t see it ending up as a healthy relationship.

Think about it this way: People come in all different races, types, shapes and sizes. We all have different belief systems. Everyone has different values and different life circumstances. We all have different needs.

Yet, there is one thing we really all have in common – the need for respect.  Even if you don’t have a partner, or kids, or work, or even money – you need respect.  Respect is the entire key to how society works.  When we don’t respect people, we steal from them, we murder – we discriminate against them.

What is respect?  Respect is a recognition of a person’s worth.  Gangs kill for respect.  Abusers demand respect.  When these things occur in one’s life, we lose respect for the person treating us badly and then they demand even more respect … this is true all over the world and this is why we see so much tragedy.

True respect is seeing someone, flaws and all, and still feeling appreciation of their unique talents, gifts and insights. It is not expecting perfection nor is it beating someone into submission.  Think about those people you really respect.  You do so because they are a good people, thoughtful, kind and warrant your respect.  They ask for nothing.

Of course, respect begins with the self.  When someone does not respect themselves, they really can not respect others.  They may demand respect, they may claim that they should be respected … But, they don’t feel that way inside.

Respect goes beyond love relationships.  I’m reading a book called Trustology in which it discusses that the same rules apply in work as in love.  We need to have open communication, honesty and consideration for us to have trust.  When we have trust, we have respect and anything is possible!

What does this mean for us?  It’s got to start somewhere – with us, with our children and even with our co-workers. We have to begin a dialog about respect.  We need to look for relationships where there is respect – where we listen to what we each have to say and even if we don’t agree, we won’t blame the other for our issues or differences.

Imagine our children’s generation growing up with this as the number one rule of life.  Think of the amazing change in the world!

Have a fantastic weekend!