“Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that’s real power.” — Clint Eastwood
Have you ever wondered why we focus on the value of respect so much here at Karate for Kids? The reason is because respect is one of the “cornerstone” life skills we have. Of course, every person wants to be respected: teachers, instructors, parents…and you, too! But what exactly is respect?
Respect means “taking someone else’s feelings, needs, thoughts and ideas into consideration”. It means treating people, places, and things like they are special. It also means admiring others and honoring their wishes and knowledge. And finally, when dealing with others, you take their position into account.
Life Without Respect
We all know someone who lacks respect or acts in a disrespectful manner. Think of that person now. Then think of what their life is like. Are they successful? Do other people want to be around them? Do they gain respect from others? I don’t think so. I’m sure you’ll agree: life is a lot harder for them. They probably face more resistance from others, have fewer friends and people don’t trust them as much. People who lack respect also experience more conflicts and fights with others. Yes, living life without the value of respect is like swimming upstream. Everything is more of a challenge. Why is this true? The answer is simple: life is a “people game”. No person is an island. To get what you want out of life, you must enlist the support of others. If you’re not respectful, other people won’t help you get what you want. That could be more friends, better relationships, good grades in school, a successful career or any other goal you have for yourself.
Life With Respect
On the other hand, living life with respect brings many advantages. When you show respect to others, people reach out and help you more. Doors open for you – doors that would otherwise be closed. You can look forward to better grades, more friends and a better career. Life is just plain easier. In fact, I’ve seen many amazing success stories of students who started at our academy with one big problem in life: they lacked respect. But once they started learning and demonstrating respect here, it carried over to other areas of their life. Everything turned around for them. They started getting better grades, advanced more quickly in Karate for Kids, and became leaders. Slowly, they also discovered another nice thing: people started respecting them more! Remember: respect must be earned. Here are 35 easy ways you can be more respectful both inside – and outside – our academy:
35 Ways to Be More Respectful In and Out of Our Academy:
- Answer up with, “Yes, Sir” and “Yes, Ma’am” when speaking to others (especially senior ranks).
- Bow in before you step into the workout area.
- Attend classes consistently and get to class on time.
- Keep your uniform clean, pay attention in class and listen to your instructors.
- Bow before sparring.
- Take good care of your uniform and equipment and organize it so it’s ready for your next class.
- Sit like a master on your star before class begins and avoid horseplay.
- Treat your seniors and juniors with honor – the way you would like to be treated.
- Take your schoolwork and academics seriously.
- Complete all your homework on time and to the best of your ability.
- Respect school rules and policies (like no gum-chewing in class or running down the halls).
- Focus on your academic goals and stay on track with your studies.
- Treat your classmates in a kind, courteous manner.
- Listen while classmates share their ideas and thoughts.
- Volunteer for activities in class.
- Refrain from teasing, mocking or bullying others.
- Offer to help out with chores at home.
- Obey your parents.
- Treat your brothers and sisters the way YOU wish to be treated.
- Avoid fights with your siblings and work things out in a positive way.
- Listen to your parents and avoid “back-talk” or argue when they give you instructions.
- Respect other family members’ belongings.
- Respect other family members’ feelings.
- Take care of your pets and treat them kindly.
- Do something the FIRST time a parent asks you.
- Keep your room neat and organized (this also shows respect for your possessions).
- Pay attention to home and family rules (such as curfews, etc.).
- Eat right, avoid junk food and exercise regularly.
- Don’t make excuses for your behavior.
- Make good choices for yourself regardless of what your friends are doing.
- Avoid risky behavior such as smoking and drinking.
- Show discipline, follow-through and commitment.
- Stick to your goals and work towards them.
- Honor your commitments to others, show integrity and set a good example.
- Say, “no” to bad influences, respect your own decisions and respect yourself.
All of those are ways you can improve your respect for others, your belongings, and yourself! So this month I want you to pick five of these items from the list and really focus on practicing respect in that area. It could be listening to your parents or helping out with chores. It could be answering up in class more. It’s up to you. Start with small steps and before you know it, you might just be the most respected student here!
—Senior Master Babin