Extra Virgin :: The Bill of Rights

I recently read Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero and found it so eye-opening and helpful. This month on Extra Virgin, I’d like to explore aspects of emotional health (and unhealth) by sharing excerpts from the book ::

Respect is not a feeling. It is how we treat another person. Regardless of how we might feel about another human being, they are made in God’s image and of infinite value and worth…

Bill of Rights

Respect means I give myself and others the right to:

  • Space and privacy (e.g., knocking on doors before entering, not opening one another’s mail, respecting each other’s needs for quiet and space);
  • Be different (e.g., allowing preferences for food, movies, volume of music, and how we spend our time);
  • Disagree (e.g., making room for each person to think and see life differently);
  • Be heard (e.g., listening to each other’s desires, opinions, thoughts, feelings, etc.);
  • Be taken seriously (e.g., listening and being present to one another);
  • Be given the benefit of the doubt (e.g., checking out assumptions rather than judging one another when misunderstandings arise);
  • Be told the truth (e.g., counting on the truth when asking each other for information—from “Did you study for the test that you failed?” to “Why were you late coming home?”);
  • Be consulted (e.g., checking and asking when decisions will affect others);
  • Be imperfect and make mistakes (e.g., leaving “room” for breaking things, forgetting things, letting each other down unintentionally, failing tests when we have studied, etc.);
  • Courteous and honorable treatment (e.g., using words that don’t hurt, asking before using, consulting when appropriate…); and
  • Be respected (e.g., taking one another’s feelings into account)

This list was incredibly enlightening to me, and I found that I had been acting in a disrespectful way, especially by not extending the right to “Be different” and “Be imperfect”. What about you? Using this list as a guideline, do you find that you respect yourself and others? In what ways are your respectful to yourself? To others? In what ways are you disrespect to yourself? To others?

(Photo via Kroutchev Planet Photo)

Posted by Aanna on Monday, April 18th, 2016

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