Have you tried the 30 day challenge of only speaking positively for 30 days? Never heard of that? These are the details: You are challenged to only speak (and think, in the advanced version) positively 24 hours a day for 30 days in a row—no snide comments, no yucky yammering—only pure positivity. If you mess up – you have to start your 30 day count all over again. Have you tried this? How many days total did it take you to get to your 30 days in a row? 35 days? 60 days? more? If you haven’t yet tried such an experiment, I urge you to test it out for yourself. Discover what your positivity and negativity output really is. And then, push yourself some to try being even more positive. Can you consciously become someone whose only focus is uplifting others and supporting others?
Yes, you can!
Speaking and thinking positively about others is one way to begin consciously respecting every one. As we practice only speaking and thinking positively, we are also practicing how to express disagreement in a way that is respectful to others. When we can disagree with one another in a respectful way, we can shift our energies to one with the possibility of a transformation—not just upset and anger. Think of how the lack of respect, or even the perceived lack of respect, has felt injurious to you as you have been in disagreement with others. Think of how if there had been no lack of respect, how that could have changed everything for you. Think of what a game changer that would be!
Of course, being positive is not the only way to show respect. Listening to one another is also important. That is, we need to listen to one another beyond hearing the words. We need to listen for the meanings of the words, and we need to listen for the wisdom of what is being shared. Think how powerful this would be for you, if others really heard you and listened to your wisdom. Listening with respect means we understand there can be more perspectives than ours that have validity. There is an old Chinese story about the four blind men who were asked to describe an elephant. The man who was by the elephant’s trunk said it was like a big snake. The man who was by its leg talked about a strong tree. The many who was by the elephant’s tail talked about a tough rope. The man by its stomach talked about a robust boat. Each man was correct, but alone they did not give a complete picture of an elephant. How much wisdom do we miss out on as well if we do not listen to others’ perspectives with respect?
If you still wonder what a difference it will make for you to consciously choose to respect all, think about your own experiences again. When there was an absence of respect, how would have adding respect changed the experience for you? And look farther out into the world at others’ exchanges, how do you think adding respect could have shifted the experience? Think first about how nice it would be if others finally started respecting you and your wisdom all the time. Now, think about what a gift it would be for others to receive your respect all the time. How could you upgrade their life experiences? If you try this experiment of respecting all, you will be able to witness for yourself what a game changer it can be—as your choice to respect others also shines in and respect washes over your life as well.
I challenge us all to a 30 day respect-all diet. Try it out. See what 30 days in a row of positive thoughts and words, and true listening is like! Just 30 days in a row. (Yes, if you mess up, forgive yourself, and start the 30 days over again.) 30 days – respect all. Are you in?