Let’s be honest with each other. On a whole, as the human race, we’re pretty horrible at honoring each other. We don’t see the value each of us holds. Sometimes, we don’t even see each other as human.
Now, very few of us would admit it. Not to each other, not to ourselves. But we devalue anyone and everyone that is other to us – other in belief, other in ideals, other in nationality, other in ethnicity. If they’re not one of us, they’re not worth my time, effort, thought.
They’re not even human.
Too drastic? Too harsh?
Look around you. You see it every day.
Every. Single. Day.
So, what can we do about it?
- Start making a conscious decision every day to believe that everyone has intrinsic value. They are valuable simply because they are human. All are made in the image of God, all deserve that honor, respect, love.
- Listen to each other. True, active listening. What is the person actually saying? What are the goals/hopes/dreams communicated to you? How do they feel about what they are saying? Don’t try and be/find the solution. Don’t come up with your response in your head and miss 90% of what is said.
- Don’t dismiss the person. If someone comes to you and expresses pain that they are experiencing, don’t dismiss them. Don’t placate them. If they tell you that they are hurting because of x, don’t tell them that everyone experiences x and they need to get over it. Make sure you do step 2 so you don’t hear what isn’t said. (ie: if someone says Black Lives Matter, they aren’t saying no other life matters – so don’t respond as if they did. Listen to the pain instead of dismissing the speaker. Value the person.)
- If they ask for your input, then add it. If they don’t, don’t. If your spouse needs to release the stress and frustration that’s built up throughout the day, don’t try and fix whatever it is they’re venting about. You know they probably already have a solution, they simply want someone to listen and value them as a person and value what they have to say. They don’t need you to step in and be the hero unless they ask. (See step 2.)
- Show kindness. Kindness is an undervalued and underused tool in our world. Be a powerful wielder of kindness and watch what it does. It can change lives.
- Love. Love is the most powerful weapon we have and, like kindness, it is ill-used. Love can move mountains, heal the deepest wounds, and build the strongest bridges.
This is not a comprehensive list of how we can honor each other. I’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you value the people in your life? All the people?