Friday, October 16, 2015

Give respect a try: The REAP Formula

The REAP Formula for Success and Satisfaction in Your Life:
Respect, Empathy, Appreciation, and Politeness

Reflect for a moment on the meaning of respect.

Respect traditionally refers to the positive thoughts and feelings we have about someone, their actions, or something of value. It includes an understanding of why they are valued and why they should be appreciated. Respect often involves treating a person or situation with consideration, recognition, and care.  It is a key part of interacting with others in positive ways. On the other hand, individuals can direct their respect towards inappropriate or even illegal acts.

Here’s a key point to consider: Individuals have a choice about what types of people, behaviors, and things they decide to respect. For example, teachers respect students who work hard to improve their grades. Likewise, employers value employees who work hard to earn their wages. On the other hand, some individuals choose to respect negative rather than positive actions, for example, individuals who create problems or act in harmful ways.

It’s important to carefully choose what people and events best fit with your personal and spiritual values. Your values and ideals influence who and what you respect. Talk with the trusted adults in your life. Ask for their feedback on what is important to value. This might be a parent or grandparent, a teacher, a pastor, or a coach who is dedicated to helping others. Identify what matters to those people in your life who have contributed to you in helpful ways.

Again, you have a choice about the people, behaviors, and things you decide to respect.

Respectful behavior can be applied to many areas. Consider the following:

·      Respect for self
·      Respect for others
·      Respect for the efforts for others
·      Respect for your possessions
·      Respect for the property of others
·      Respect for authority: parents, teachers, the law, and others.
·      Respect for your city
·      Respect for your government

Respecting yourself is a good place to start.

You respect yourself when you take care of yourself in healthy ways. This includes building positive habits both mentally and physically. Keeping your thinking healthy and your body fit are good examples. You also respect yourself when you act in ways that are beneficial to yourself and others. For example, working hard to improve your grades increases your success in school. It is respectful of your skills and the educational opportunities you have. Helping with the chores at home shows respect for your parents and their efforts to clothe and feed you. Keeping your clothes neat shows respect for what you have, as well as for those who worked to buy them for you.

The reverse is true. You disrespect yourself when you do things that are harmful and unhealthy. For example, taking dangerous substances is harmful to your body and mind and shows a lack of respect for your health.  Likewise, trashing your belongings shows disrespect for the efforts of those who worked to give them to you, as well as yourself. Later, we’ll discuss respect for your possessions and the property of others and what that says about you.

The REAP Formula reflects key considerations for growing in healthy ways.  The letters stand for Respect, Empathy, Appreciation, and Politeness. Learning to embrace these traits provides a blueprint for respecting yourself, relating to others in positive ways, and personal growth.

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