Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Care Partner Wednesday--The Issue of Respect

Since I was a little girl, the words "respect your elders" were drummed into my
consciousness. To this day, when I call some elders by their first name, I see a vision of my mother's eyebrows raised with the look. It's a sign of respect to use older people's proper names. There were clearer rules when I was a kid about showing respect.

Maybe we need to revisit it. What does respect look like?

Respect means: I have something to contribute, no matter my age, my frailty or my cognition.

Respect means: you listen to my stories, even if you have heard them before. Respect listens, trying to discern who I am and know me better with each repetition.

Respect validates what I am saying, even if you have no idea what I'm talking about. My words may be confusing, but there are real feelings behind them. Respect listens to my heart.

Respect laughs with me and never at me.

Respect acknowledges that I might have annoying habits, but sets them aside and loves me anyway.

Respect asks my opinion.

Respect shares your life with me and allows me into what matters to you.

Respect looks at what's important to me and holds it in reverence, also.

Respect finds ways to connect.

Respect ask questions with real interest, and expects to learn from the answers.

Respect sees me as an interesting person with a fascinating life.

Respect is careful not to patronize.

"Respect your elders" is wider and deeper than I experienced as a kid. It's not just a set of rules, as I was taught, but the understanding that, without elders in my life to teach me and grow me, I am bereft.

Care Partner Wednesday--The Issue of Respect

No comments:

Post a Comment