Person-to-Person Respect

The primary rules of behavior in relationships are mutual respect and consideration. Even more so, your actions toward another person demand that you promote the growth of that person. You need to structure your actions to make the other member in the relationship feel self-worth. Our value systems automatically trigger our behaviors; thus, to understand our actions, we must also understand the basis of our value systems and their development.

Some individuals believe if others do not conform, they represent a threat to the status quo. A person may feel justified to act in the extreme in response to an imagined threat to their ideals.  The end justifies the means. Some people obsess with “righting a wrong” hence hatred, war, and imprisonments are acceptable choices for them. This is ridiculous! Why do we need other people to be thinking the same as we do? While we need not to condone the beliefs or behavior of others, we can accept that different ideas have a place in the total spectrum of life.

We may not, and at times should not, agree; but tolerance of differences is essential for growth. Even when these ideas may be at the opposite spectrum of our way of life, others still have a right to their opinion. Why not enjoy the richness and excitement of the variety within the created universe? Why do some people feel it is necessary to possess and to manipulate others to do their will? I believe that some people want “power” over the lives and aspirations of others. For the sake of “power”, this archetype feels they must control those with whom they come in contact. This is an unhealthy approach for power and stems from a feeling of insecurity. A secure approach to power is to respect the human race with the same mission the green movement gives to the concerns of our environment. While we take a healthier view of our world, let us respect the human race. If we cannot respect our own kind; what can we ever hope to accomplish beyond that?

The element of power complicates the human struggle for the pursuit of happiness. When the quality of justice, respect, and honor is missing, peaceful coexistence is impossible. When we refuse to allow another to live in dignity and freedom, we create an enemy. Trying to control others, for our emotional or material gain, is to rob those individuals of their freedom. We have a right to freedom from want and insecurity.

Acts of kindness and respect are the fertile ground for increasing global levels of peace.

Acts of unkindness and disrespect are merely increase the levels of violence. Terror and genocide in the name of liberation is not liberation at all. It is simply hatefulness attempting justification.

To build up and improve others is a positive use of power. The problem with power is in its abuse. “When we lose our perspective, about our purpose and aim, is when we begin to abuse our power”. (Bopha[1]) We should never shy away from gaining power. We need to remain ever vigilant and maintain a healthy perspective so that we can use this power for the peaceful good of the universe.[2]

[1] Bopha is a 1993 film directed by Morgan Freeman and the apartheid struggle in South Africa

[2] Excerpt from Jazz of the Spirit: Life’s Vibes, by Robert Jendry, Mt. Air Publishing, 2005