May 12, 2012

The virtue of respect

I thought about many good words to share with you today such as tolerance, understanding, awareness and acceptance, but on further reflection, it occurred to me that none of those words are needed when there is respect. Therefore today's message is respect.

Respect should be given to all people, ideas, places and things. Respect should be two-way and automatic. I'm not one who buys into the concept that respect has to be earned for that implies a hierarchical culture where someone is always passing judgment from above. I wouldn't want that job; would you?

I do believe, however, that respect can be lost and that happens when one fails to learn from their experiences, avoids growing up or conducts themselves in a way that would harm others. It also happens when the words, "We agree to disagree," are uttered. Disagreement is not respectful. Disagreement denotes unresolved conflict and conflict left unattended breeds disrespect.

On the other hand, respect breeds confidence, shared goals and dreams, and happiness. When we are happy, we are optimistic and that allows us to share optimism with others. My goal this week has been to help you explore ways to increase your optimism and then to share that optimism with others. If you follow my suggestions for living optimistically you will most assuredly lead a virtuous life.

Experience Optimism is providing a "Share Optimism" poster every day this week. Based on the positive tenets of the Optimist Creed, we hope that you will find a favorite (or two) and share optimism with others today. (6 of 7) 

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