A Message From Dr. Newman: The Language of RESPECT

2020 has been a challenging year for RESPECT’s team and while there are many things to share (and even celebrate) about ongoing developments, I decided instead to share some thoughts we share with students in our audiences – thoughts that I have been trying keep in mind to help us manage the big feelings and challenges of these last months – something akin to helping kids handle stress through the “Language of RESPECT.”

It has helped us and kids we work with and maybe it will help you too:

  1. We all have big emotions. They are as normal a part of a human person their heart. We have to take care of our hearts. And we have to take care of our emotions. We do not let our emotions get out of control just like we do not let our heart health get out of control. They are too important to a good life.
  2. There is no magic (outside of a good theatrical performance!) But there is the thrill of teamwork and work well done that is way more satisfying – when you stand back and say to your group – “Wow! Did you ever think we could do that?”
  3. Kindness truly matters.
  4. Processes are at least as important as content. Especially when everyone is in something together. So you may not learn exactly what you were expecting to learn, this time, but you WILL learn something! AND? HOW you do something is as important as WHAT you do.
  5. There are no crystal balls. We can only share and learn and try our very best. It’s harder but more satisfying.
  6. Virtual hugs are better than no hugs at all.
  7. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s an integral part of learning. It should be built into every learning opportunity. Sometimes you might even learn a better way of doing something in the process.
  8. It’s OK to ask for help.
  9. People nearly always feel good when other people ask them for help. It can be a gift to help someone.
  10. Everyone is important. Looking at people and listening to them is important. It can be a gift to listen.
  11. There can be many ways to reach your destination.
  12. Taking a moment to stop and think about how you can help yourself or someone else, even for that moment, can make a lifetime of difference.
  13. Learning new things is good for you.
  14. Laughing with others is good for you.
  15. In the end it’s all about RESPECT. Not a deadline or getting a report out or the storage room cleaned out or a video looking totally perfect or starting a meeting exactly at 9 A.M. Those things can be important of course, but it’s really all about RESPECT. So…. we focus on what is important. Sharing what our limitations are, how we are coping, what we need for help, changing priorities, communicating how we are doing and expanding our capacity for empathy.

We hope you are all staying healthy and well!