I have a co-worker that I learn so much from. She’s a very intelligent lady, and I have oodles of admiration and respect for her. Recently, we’ve been talking about Jewish values and how to incorporate them into our lesson plans. (Of course, this is at a Jewish school!) To start off our school year, we’ve been teaching the Jewish value of “kavod” or “respect.” It has been such a valuable tool, because we have been using this Jewish value to set up our expectations for our classes and to discuss the upcoming Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.
What my co-worker probably doesn’t realize, however, is how much I’ve been thinking about this value, too, and what respect means to me. So let me lay it all out for all of you (in no particular order of value):
–My mother always taught me to respect my elders. So of course, I have the utmost respect for my mother, father and all other people with AARP cards who can pass their wisdom on to me and others.
–I have respect for the world around me. How in the world could I intentionally abuse anything so lovely? I recycle when I can and try so hard to reuse instead of throwing out.
–I have so much respect for my husband and kids. Really…I’m the luckiest girl in the world to be able to spend time with these incredible people. They make me whole, and I do the best I can to nurture that.
–I respect my craft. Music is everything to me, and it is where I find my spirituality. I consider it to be the biggest blessing to be able to teach music every day. I still can’t believe people pay me to play guitar and sing for a living. That is just the best thing in the whole world!.
I could write more and more and more about this topic. This is a list that truly could go on for a long time, but I am going to give you one more item only. This is the one that I think is the most important respect item.
–I respect myself. If I listen to myself and am always true to myself and my inner instincts, I know that I can’t go wrong in this world. If I believe in what I do, than hopefully I will pass on my good intentions to others. So I think respect of self is a key element to this value.
So, there is my respect list. It’s nice to think about this list from time to time, because it helps me set my priorities. As I think about each of these items, there is only one song that I could think of. Thank you to Aretha Franklin for the perfect “Respect” mantra. Click HERE to go to Youtube, to listen to the Queen of Soul and to “find out what it means to me.” Enjoy y’all. Peace out and all good respect!