Drs. Yvonne & Scott Rheinschmidt Ph D LPC
“Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31)
Do you like to be judged? Be yelled at? Spoken down to? Called bad names? Most would answer “NO”. Why? Well because we have something called “self-esteem”. Today’s Mindful Moment is about respect.
What does it mean to respect? The word “respect” comes from the Latin word respectere, frequentative of respicere to “look back at, regard, consider”. Literally the word respect is the act of looking back at with a meaning of “feeling of esteem excited by actions or attributes of someone or something; courteous or considerate treatment due to personal worth or power”. In other words, respect is to have esteem for others or as we like to call it: “other-esteem”. We can’t have “other-esteem” if we don’t have self-esteem. It boils down that we can’t value someone else if we don’t value ourselves.
During this pandemic, families and couples have found themselves spending more time together and struggling to get along. What is going on? From our counseling perspective, those who are not getting along, have differences of opinions about numerous issues. We have seen different opinions from child raising, to politics, to budgeting, to educating our children from home, teen parenting issues, etc. The key is not about the difference of opinion, but how we handle the differences of opinion. So, the question is how do we handle having difference of opinions? Do
we yell? Cuss at each other? Talk down to each other? Does this work? From our experience, it does not.
In counseling, we work toward learning to improve communication by focusing in using respectful words and behaviors. Sometimes we have to agree to disagree which always comes from respecting others’ lives and respecting our own. We know that there has been a heightened level of stress now that we are spending more time together. To reduce this stress, we must respect life in a non-judgmental attitude. By respecting life, we necessarily respect others’ opinion and we can treat others respectfully.
St. John Paul II stated in his encyclical Evangelium vitae that our “society as a whole must respect, defend and promote the dignity of every human person, at every moment and in every condition of that person’s life”.