Respect living things

March 31, 2014

respect licing thingsThe other day our friend, V., dropped something off. Riley was in his room, door closed, but could hear V’s voice, and he’s crazy about V. He was so upset at not seeing V he was hurling himself against the door to try to get to him.

V. loves Riley too, and it’s obvious to everyone and especially to Riley.

Haven’t you noticed that dogs and cats have a nose for the people who love and respect them?

Respect. Humans have a long tradition of respect for other living creatures.

Native American hunters routinely thank the animals they hunt for food, showing great respect that they provided food and sustenance. Even the carcass is ritually handled.

Contrast that with trophy hunters? It says a lot.

I think this proverb is Arapaho in origin, but I love that it acknowledges the need for respect in all relationships.

There seems to be less respect than ever in our society, and kids are picking up on it. Each story about bullying, even among kids as young as five years old, upsets me.  Clearly, children are tuning into the vibe of our world–and that’s not a good thing.

Respect all living things.  THIS is what we should be teaching children and how we should be acting every day.




38 comments on “Respect living things
  1. agree. Hey, Riley has his own room? Was he being punished? Why didn’t he get to say Hi to V.?

    • admin says:

      (laughing) Riley and Michael share an office. V just had a minute and Riley is a big production of a greeter who probably would run out the front door if given the chance. Riley and V spend a lot of quality time together, no worries. Also, Riley is totally spoiled. As you may have figured out.

  2. Doreen McGettigan says:

    I could not agree more. Lack of respect seems to be bothering me more and more lately. It simply is no longer being taught.

  3. Karen says:

    Respect is one of the primary values I’ve tried to teach my children. In fact, the times I’ve been angry with them were the times when they treated someone disrespectfully. Interestingly, I never had trouble with the legendary “terrible teen” years…and I’m pretty sure that had a lot to do with the respect I showed them.

  4. Julie Phelps says:

    I agree that respect is lacking of late. Perhaps it is not being taught or demonstrated by parents? One can easily recognize those who ARE respectful, as they are in the minority. Let’s play Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” out loud!

    • admin says:

      Love that song!

    • Julie Phelps says:

      Adding on to what keeps going through my mind in reference to respect for all living things…
      People over the years have often asked me how I kept a whole menagerie of various houseplants looking so healthy and happy.
      My “secret” has always been that I listen to the plants. I remain aware of their condition and I talk to them. The thing that always raises eyebrows though is when I share that sometimes a plant will mentally call me to them – from several rooms or a different floor away even!
      It may sound goofy, but it is true. I am very grateful to a Universe that makes such interspecies communication possible. And it is possible because of respect.

  5. I honestly believe social media and cell phones have intensified the problem. Now people can say anything without looking the other person in the eye and it carries over. kids and Young adults see and spew so much venom on line and in texts that it becomes a part of who they are. As a high school teacher, it is a constant battle. I am amazed at what kids will say in tweets and texts. One of the reason HS stopped using Facebook is that their parents and teachers showed up…they want to be able to say anything uncensored. I honestly believe this is the foundation of a growing problem…we can emphasize and teach respect but they do not see it modeled in many places.

  6. Jennifer Steck says:

    The more I’m out in nature, the more this message resonates for me. We are responsible to take care of the gifts we’ve been given and animals are just one of many.

  7. Absolutely! It is crucial as we are losing our fellow creatures and our resources.

  8. Karen @BakingInATornado says:

    I recently found a new show on TV about homesteaders in Alaska. It made an impression on me how they tried to kill only for food or to protect their property, always try to kill quickly and mercifully and sometimes thank the animal for allowing them to eat. I think we either have respect for living things or we don’t, but there’s no reason to pick and choose which ones.

  9. I totally agree! Respect is something that my husband and I stress with our children, not just by words, but by our actions to them and to each other. Thanks for a great post!

  10. Diane says:

    Respect is NOT being taught. And our gentility is going out the door with it!

  11. Yes indeed, we should have respect for all living things.

  12. Susan Cooper says:

    I agree with you that there seems to be less respect than ever in our society and kids are definitely picking up on it. But I think we need to teach our children to have respect for themselves and their bodies at the same we are teaching them to respect others.

  13. Randy finley says:

    The lack of respect is generational. We were admonished by our parents of the social changes when growing up. With the advancements in technology we are seeing an antiseptic generation who communicate through fiber optics. Thus the suppression of emotional reactions.

    Much easier to push the delete button.

    Damn I love my dog!

  14. Adela says:

    The longer I observe animals the more I think we are not alone in attributes we assign as uniquely human: compassion, love, ingenuity, memory, sorrow; just to name a few.

  15. Great article! This is something very important to me while raising my children. Everything is here for a reason and should be treated as such!

  16. I wholeheartedly agree, Carol. Respect is essential, even if we disagree with someone or their opinion. That’s the part where so many of us fall down. But if we want someone to respect our opinion then we must give respect to them as well. I hope I’ve taught my son this lesson well. ~ Bobbi

  17. Sabrina says:

    I have two cats and, when I’m quiet and in the moment, I can tell exactly what they need. But I have to be present. I have to notice when the Reese, the older one, is no longer begging for my attention but sitting nearby waiting patiently for me to acknowledge him or notice the low meow just before he enters the room with one of grandson’s slippers. At those times, I know I need to stop what I’m doing and just say ‘Hi’ or thank him for slaying that evil Thomas the Train slipper for me. And when Lil Momma, the two year old, meows from another room, my goal is to always answer, get off my tush and see what’s wrong. Sometimes, it’s nothing she just wants a little conversation and a scratch. Other times, it’s the food bowl or litter box. I’ve often gotten really close to their noses and whispered “Hello, Spirit” simply because I recognize we’re all one. Acknowledgement is respectful. I really enjoyed reading this post.

  18. A good reminder. Also, sometimes I want to remind people that we humans are not separate from nature — we are part of it. The idea of separation makes it easier for us to disrespect that which is Other.

  19. Such a great point, Lori.

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