Nowadays, in the middle of the negativity and the fake news, the insults, name calling and other non pleasantries we hear a constant call for loving each other. Love is promoted as the way to end all this. Somehow, it is believed that love will conquer all and things would be salvaged if we just understand this simple premise.
I am afraid I do not agree with this idea. Love is great, is all encompassing and can save us….but loving is not something we can call into existence at the drop of a hat. Sorry, if I sound too cavalier or too mercenary, whichever term you use. Loving is an emotion, a feeling, a wonderful thing that either happens or not.
Now, respect, that I can understand. According to the dictionary its meaning is as follows: Definition of Respect. You can actually learned to respect, sounds just the thing. To come to this realization is one of the great inspirations as we grow older.
Now, learning to respect, as everything else in life, should start at home. It is a simple premise: learn to respect yourself first and then respecting others will come easy. As the years go by, more and more we’ve gained a healthy selfrespect. It is a feeling that well surpasses the idea of just loving oneself.
How to achieve this desired state? We must not complicate our lives on purpose, so follow simple steps, arrive at certain simple decisions that will make a difference in our lives, basically that is it: go simple.
We must start with taking care of our bodies. It’s the only one we have and must last all of our lives. Treat it well and keep it healthy. If we do, it will serve us well and help us enjoy life more. This is the most basic, solid way of respect.
Never aspire to normalcy, because, after all…what is normal? Be yourself, a bit sassy or flamboyant or even weird if that is who you truly are. There is no reason for being anything else, but yourself. “There is no one alive who is youer than you” Dr. Seuss.
Be honest with yourself. Sometimes the truth hurts, but we need to accept that. It will build your self-confidence. It is always better to know where we stand. Having the wrong self image will never help with respect. “Honesty is such a lonely word…” Billy Joel.
Accept your shortcomings. It is the only way to deal with them. Same with any situations you find yourself in: accept and deal with them. You are who you are, so learn to forgive yourself and move on. Never, never compare yourself to others.
Be prepared to take a stand for your beliefs, regardless of their popularity. Life is not a popularity contest, never mind what people think. Learn to say NO, have boundaries and learn to protect them. “Find a place to make your stand and take it easy” The Eagles. You do not owe anything to anyone.
Accept your mistakes. We all make them. Apologize when you are wrong or when you have hurt someone. More importantly, do it without offering excuses. Once you go that route, you lost your ground and your apology is void.
There a so many people we need to deal with on a daily basis, if we respect ourselves, we will respect others…….and who knows we might learn to love them too.
Own photo: steps at Fort Nassau on a warm evening in October.