19 May Respect is a beautiful word
Respect is a beautiful word, and it’s one of the most important symbols that we can understand. Imagine that you had never heard the word before, and let’s make it up and agree on a meaning, because just like any other symbol, we need to agree with the symbol or it won’t work for us. Respect, like many of the symbols, begins with ourselves, and then it goes out to everyone and everything around us. If we don’t respect ourselves, how can we respect anyone or anything else?
When you respect yourself, this means you accept yourself just the way you are. When you respect other people, this means you accept them just the way they are. When you respect everything in nature — the animals, the oceans, the atmosphere, the earth — this means you accept the entire creation just the way it is. When we arrive in this world, everything was created already. It wasn’t our choice to see what had to be created or not. It was done, and we respect it. Can we do it better? Maybe, but I don’t think so. Then respect is about the complete acceptance of everything that exists just the way it is, not the way we want it to be. This is more or less one meaning of the word respect.
Once you accept yourself just the way you are, you no longer have any judgments about yourself. Once you accept everybody else just the way they are, you no longer have any judgments about them. Then something incredible happens in your world: You find peace. You are not in conflict with yourself, and you are not in conflict with anyone else. All of the conflict that exists in humanity is because there is no respect. Every war is because we didn’t respect the other artists’ way of life. Instead of respecting their rights, we start imposing what we believe on others. Instead of peace, there is war.
The Fifth Agreement
Don Miguel Ruiz & Don Jose Ruiz