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I’m not sure when I realized what it means to respect another person.  I suspect it is an understanding that has come to me only slowly.

Step 1.  Respect means seeing those around you.  Wait staff. Checkers.  Whoever.  It was shortly after college, out with new friends, when I realized that not everyone had been raised to thank the server when she refilled our water.  Where did they think that lovely glass of ice water had come from?  No, if you are going to respect someone, you look them in the eye and thank them for taking care of you.

Step 2.  Respect means listening.  This was something we talked about in Sunday school.  When people feel heard, they feel valued.  Respect means hearing them.  Really listening.

Step 3.  Respect means not assuming that everyone else is wrong.  I’ve seen this a lot the last few days.  Whether the issue is who forgot to pay for something or whose way of doing things is right, respect means letting go.  Maybe just maybe the other person is on to something.  Even if you don’t immediately see it.

When we do these things, we manage to reflect some of Christ’s light out into the world.  Christ saw.  He sat and listened.  And he accepted the people around him.  He didn’t expect them to be flawless.  He accepted their humanity.

Respect.  It may be a fairly small word, but it means an awful lot to those who receive it.




These young ladies know the power of team work and use being part of a time to spread light and love throughout their community.  A lesson for all of us on how to do it right.  –SueBE

“Find a need and fill it.”  I don’t know what Ruth Stafford Peale had in mind when she said this.  But I’ve been sitting here thinking about some of the needs I see in our world today.

Kindness and respect.

The other day my niece was telling us about two of her team mates being pulled off the field by their coach.  They hadn’t fouled a member of the other team.  They didn’t sass the ref.  They were arguing with each other about which position one of them was supposed to be playing.

Kindness and respected could easily have led the disagreement in another direction.

When my son offered to take a repair over at church, I watched the head of the building committee.  You would have thought someone had handed him $10,000.  The irony?  Lately he’s gotten a reputation for being an argumentative bully.  Now I’m wondering how stressed he is dealing with the bathroom sinks, the leaky roof, the gutter, etc.


Kindness and respect.  It can make a difference.


Respect. Definitely something we need to spread throughout the world and in our local communities.


Have a Mary Little Christmas

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