Respect for others and oneself
In his Hierarchy of Needs theory, first published in 1943, Abraham Maslow suggested that each of us has needs that must be met in order to learn and develop and the more our needs are met, the more effective our learning will be. Respect (or esteem) is a big part of this. But what exactly is respect and why, at St Andrew’s, have we selected it as one of the five values in our new Androvian Moral Code?
Whenever we meet and get to know people, we evaluate them based on numerous factors – what they’re doing in their lives, how they treat you and others, the values they represent, and whether they are outward facing rather than being self-absorbed. This is how we decide whether we respect others – how positively we view the way they live their lives? And it follows therefore that self-respect is a personal view of how we, ourselves, are living. Are we fulfilling the character that we imagine ourselves to be?
To respect others, one has to start with oneself and there are several ways in which we can improve our self-esteem. First and foremost, one has to be honest; without honesty, everything else loses value. Honesty encourages us to take responsibility and work hard so that we improve our knowledge, see plans through and give service to those around us. In order to do our best we have to feel our best and that means looking after our bodies and being healthy through fitness and diet. We need to be able to collaborate and that means learning how to listen, debate and reason with pragmatic sense. Ultimately we need to recognise that each of us is an individual with different likes and dislikes. As a result, we each have the right to be different and feel that others respect us no matter what.
‘To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.’ Bono