Unconditional Respect: The Power to Change the World

You're probably familiar with unconditional love, but what about unconditional respect? It's a respect you don't have to earn and you can't lose. Find out how this kind of respect can revolutionize your parenting, your community, and the world. Click the image to learn more.
We're all familiar with the concept of unconditional love, whether we've experienced it or not. It's a love you can't earn and you can't mess up, a love that you receive regardless of your actions. Most parents feel unconditional love for their children, although not all are adept at showing it all the time.
But what about unconditional respect?
Have you ever been given this kind of respect, a respect you don't have to earn and you can't lose? If you can answer yes to that, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. You might have heard of it before as 'The Golden Rule' or the Proverb that says 'a gentle answer can turn away wrath.' Maybe you remember Thumper, the adorable little bunny from Bambi, saying, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say nothin' at all." When you boil it down, these are the same message: Treat others with kindness regardless of how they've treated you.

Have you ever given unconditional respect to others? It's a world-changing practice, one that I honestly believe could bring about world peace if only we would all take part in it with our whole hearts and strongest efforts. When you answer a mean or careless yell with gentleness or smile at a crabby person on the street, you're practicing unconditional respect. Unconditional respect says, "It doesn't matter how you treat me. I'm going to empathize with you, recognize that factors in your life may be influencing the way you treat me, and treat you only with kindness and honor."
This isn't something we see very often in America these days.
In fact, I rarely see this kind of concern for others in my day to day life. Our culture perpetuates this idea that you have to earn my respect and, until you do, I'm entitled to treat you however I see fit. In addition to this mindset, we have a tendency towards apathy, a lack of concern and care for others. If I don't know you, I'm in no way expected to make an effort to make your day better or brighter. This kind of thinking not only causes disrespect amongst people, it breeds lack of accountability, the idea that I'm not responsible for my neighbor, and even crime.
How far does this respect go?
I have the privilege of teaching eighth-grade health as well as science and math. When I taught my students about this kind of respect, one of them challenged me and asked if I would still respect him if he broke into my house and stole from me. He was quite shocked when I answered that yes, I would still show him respect.

Why, he wanted to know, would I still show respect to someone who stole from me? Because I don't know what you were going through to cause you to break in. Maybe you needed something that I had. Or you were desperate for some kind of attention, anything to make someone take notice of you. Maybe you had to get that money to help pay for your grandpa's medicine. Truth be told, I might not feel respect for you in my heart of hearts, but I'm still going to show you respect. Sometimes we have to act in a way we don't really feel. That's #adulthood, ya'll.

The result of unconditional respect is... respect.
The incredible thing about unconditional respect is that it pays you back with respect. I proceeded to ask my students how many of them could spit in my face. They were aghast at the very idea. Responses ranged from "No way, Mrs. Hayward!" to "You're my friend, I could never do that!" But every single one of them told me they wouldn't be able to do it. I scaled it back and asked how many could bad mouth me to another student in the halls. The looks were less shocked but the responses were the same.


Because it's hard to treat someone poorly who consistently treats you well. It has been my general experience that by showing unconditional respect to people in my community, workplace, church, family, and grocery store almost always results in a kinder, more friendly response. Often, we're so used to poor treatment from others, being ignored at best and treated cruelly at worst, that when we're shown kindness by another it's a wonderful surprise. I don't know about you, but I want to be the person who brightens someone's day. I want to be a smile maker, passing respect and kindness forward through those I interact with each day.
Children can only learn this from us.
Not only do I want to show this kind of respect to strangers, I want to treat my children with unconditional respect every day. I want to teach them by example how to treat others. Goodness knows they won't learn it only by hearing me tell them. They must be shown. If we can rise up and show our kids how to extend this level of compassion to others, our world would be completely rocked by it. In those tough moments when you're exhausted or stretched thin by hours of bickering, it can be really hard to respond with respect. But it's okay to mess it up. It's okay because it gives you an opportunity to teach your kids how to apologize and mean it.

Unconditional respect, unlike love, is usually harder to offer to those closest to you because they're the ones you interact with most. They've got the highest chance of being around when you're off your game. So forgive your own mistakes, ask forgiveness from those you're less than patient with, and shut your mouth when something unkind tries to cross your lips.
Change starts with you.
So here's my challenge. As you go about the rest of your day, try some unconditional respect. Choose kindness in every response. When your grumpy side gets the better of you, apologize sincerely, with humility, and try harder the next time. I promise you that it will get easier. And I also promise you that the world, your world, will be better off because of you.

Be kind. Choose respect. Love one another.
Leave a comment below letting us know how unconditional respect has impacted your life. And thanks for reading!
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The Importance Of The New Mom’s Social Life

The Importance of The New Mom's Social Life | It's so easy to feel like you're all alone when the baby won't stop crying, the dishes and laundry are piled high, and you're friends are too nice (or too scared) to drop in on you. You are not alone! And you need to get back out there and make time for your friends again. Find out how by clicking this link.

Motherhood Comes With Plenty of Worries
Motherhood can be daunting. But I also believe it depends on our perception, how we perceive our life to be after motherhood. When I look back on the early days of my own motherhood journey, I feel I could have done things differently. I was very paranoid after I gave birth to my daughter. Often, I would run back to the room after getting a drink of water, even if she was sleeping. I was unable to leave her alone for a second and was always worried about her well being.

Big Life Changes Lead Me To Step Out More
When my daughter was 4-years-old, we moved to a new city. It was a big change for us as a family. My daughter began attending preschool. I am a shy person initially so it was very difficult for me to strike up a conversation with other moms at her school. I had to step out of my comfort zone in order to kindle relationships and find support from other moms. While attending functions at the school, I found like-minded moms, and then we had so much to discuss that it became easy to adjust to a new city.
So today, I want to help other moms do the same. I will share a few tips on how to keep your social life active long after the baby comes.

Strong Friendships Ease the Transition Into Motherhood
The best way to enjoy motherhood and the change is to have an active social life. Friends enrich our lives and provide a listening ear, a helping hand at every stage. So, why not after motherhood? It is the time when you need your friends the most as motherhood is the most unique change in our lives. Strong friendships can provide us a life jacket when we are drowning in the responsibilities that being a new mom brings.
There seems to be is a stigma surrounding parenthood that says your life changes and you can’t enjoy friendships the way you did before. It means there is no socializing, no night life. I bought into that stigma and suffered. In the initial months, I didn’t interact a lot with my friends until one day, I decided I needed to get back to my old life. It wasn’t that easy, but I had wonderful friends around who made it possible.

Now, most of my friends were parents also, so they understood my situation. However, many of you may have single friends or friends without kids. It may take more effort to connect with those friends.

New Friendships Make Parenthood Even Better
It is not easy to find like-minded moms and become friends. This often requires patience and acceptance of the fact that you could be rejected. For a shy person like me, making new friends requires effort and usually doesn’t happen on its own. It might be uncomfortable sometimes but it is absolutely necessary that we shun all our inhibitions while looking for people with whom to share our parenting stories and enjoy being with. You might not necessarily click with every mother you meet but you need to keep putting yourself out there.
When we moved to the new city, I started going out for playdates with the moms I met and their kids, so my daughter also made new friends and adjusted to the new surroundings. I also signed up for Yoga classes, and I made amazing friends there too. Yoga helped me have a healthy body and mind. More than that, it gave me a chance to interact with so many people.

It’s Not Selfish To Make Time For Your Friendships
Many moms feel it’s selfish to choose to have leisure and fun time away from the kids. In the initial months, I too struggled to keep that guilt away. But, with time, I realized that I was a better mom after spending some fun time with my friends. Also, by fostering friendships, we are teaching our children to value personal relationships and develop social skills.
If you are a working mom, it becomes even more difficult to find that leisure time. You may feel bugged with the guilt of leaving your child and going to work. It is certainly not easy to make time for friends with the competing demands of a job, home and kids. But it is worth it to take some time off for yourself and indulge in some late nights out with friends on a weekend at least once a month. You might also build friendships with other moms from your workplace.

How To Make Time For Friendships With Your Kids In Tow
As my new mom friends and I got to know each other, we arranged meetings for nights out at each ther’s homes so the kids could sleep even if it got late. We tried not to always speak about our children when we met, consciously making an effort to talk about other things we cared for as well. It helped us relax a lot; taking our minds off parenting and getting back to our old lives, the women we were before we became mothers. And, since I had moved to a new city and all these were new friends, we had so much to find out about each other.

Find Your Mom Tribe
The most surprising change that motherhood brought for me was when I started blogging. I started writing on various parenting platforms and made so many virtual friends. I had interesting conversations with my virtual friends and met a few mothers personally later on. That inspired me to start my own blog and here I am, sitting in India, writing for a US based website. Here we are, 8 mommy bloggers who are part of this amazing Healthier Mom Life Series. What else can I say? It’s just a happy feeling to interact with so many parents from around the world.
The only thing I have left to say to all the new moms out there is this: don’t feel guilty to have a leisure time. The laundry can wait too. Build new friendships and rekindle the old ones. Have fun.
Happy Parenting!

About The Author
Aesha Shah is a blogger by passion and a teacher by qualification. She’s an avid reader whose passions are writing and traveling. She is a mother to an 8-year-old daughter and her world revolves around her family.She started to blog on various parenting platforms to share her experiences as a mother and gain some from other parents and later went to set up her blog on parenting,  www.aboutparentandkid.com, this year. Follow her on Facebook.

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