Respect For People

If there is a foundation principle for this blog, it could be respect for people. Even if you are dealing with difficult people or people who have failed at something, the principle means that you deal with them openly yet respectfully.

I’m on a bit of a vacation, which means I brought along books to read. I am just finishing The Simple Leader: Personal and Professional Leadership at the Nexus of Lean and Zen, by Kevin L. Meyer. Don’t get worried by the terms Lean and Zen. Lean is a way of life in manufacturing, but it can also be applied to personal life. There is a non-religious component of Zen, which, if you knew that, you’d realize you see some if it in my writing. I studied it many years ago.

There are two foundation principles to Lean: reduce waste and respect for people (or could be translated humanity). There’s not room to include the Zen part today, but the essential parts are mindfulness and simplicity.

While meditating this morning, two thoughts dominated my awareness. The first is that so much of what I write is based on a foundation (and a wish that I would perfectly embody it) of respecting others. That is how I can have friends from so many cultures and religions.

I see no conflict to being a follower of Jesus yet respecting someone who follows Muhammad, the Buddha, or Krishna, or whatever. There are human complexities that I just don’t understand. Who am I to judge?

The other thought is how I am so disappointed when I see people showing so little respect to much anyone. Skimming through my Facebook “news” stream shows plenty of that. Even worse is skimming newspapers or watching TV news.

One of the organizations developed by people that often shows the opposite side of respect unfortunately are our Christian churches. Begun by our early leaders to bring people together for instruction and worship, so many degenerate into an “us vs. them” mindset that I literally grieve. They have ruined so many lives–or rather people within them who fail to show respect have ruined so many lives.

Business, churches, personal life–all thrive with the foundation of respect for people.

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