Richard Rohr teaches that the Franciscan principle of respect is important to worthiness. Through respect, we witness the worth of creation. As we see the value in everything, we cultivate an appreciation of our own value. Respect leads us to a reality where grace reigns.
Respect is from the word re-speculate, which means to look a second time. Often when confronted with life, we succumb to “first gaze.” First gaze asks, “How is this about me?” Or “How do I make it about me?”
Through respect, we recognize “the emptiness of this perspective.” (Richard Rohr).
How do we learn to give respect – that is to give that important second look that releases us from ego tyranny and gives us an experience of worthiness in everything? Fr. Richard suggests that we go outdoors in nature, find one object and grant it respect. It can be a flower, a leaf, a lizard, a pebble, a bug. We respect it by seeing it and loving it for its own sake. We see its beauty apart from how it may serve us.
It’s easy to respect nature and appreciate its beauty. The practice gets really exciting when we extend respect to the entire world. We start with something easy – that is nature. We find when we grant respect to one thing, the practice grows. We can love everything like we love anything.
Our worthy practice is to give respect to whatever we encounter throughout our day. See life and love it for its own sake. Include everyone and anything. Do your best to move from respecting a bug – to finding a way to respect someone who bugs you…
How will I offer respect today?