Everyone has the right to be the very best version of themselves, and most people spend their life working to achieve that ideal.
Therein lies the key. Reaching a higher level of being and maintaining it takes personal effort and it's not something another person can do for us.
It's not possible for us to live another person's life for them, but it doesn't stop some from trying.
The core theme is respect ... of others and, importantly, self respect. It's a mistake to measure our level of respect against society standards. Instead it's a matter of doing our best to be our best.
Respect is, quite simply, a positive feeling or action toward someone or something considered to be important.
It is earned, but it is always necessary to give respect to receive respect.
That's where a sense of self worth and value are essential. Individuals lacking in those areas should take action to bolster them.
Every individual in society has worth and value.
The error many people make is failing to acknowledge that value and worth in others. But that almost invariably starts with a failure to recognise that same value and worth in themselves.
In addition, respect doesn't trump responsibility; we are ultimately answerable for our decisions and the actions we take.
A way to improve the quality and value of those decisions and actions is to work on our self respect.
- Gary Bentley is a Rural Aid counsellor