"May your mountains rise up into and above the clouds."
I like this quote. When I read it I think of some of the mountain tops I have stood on and the views I got to see. I also think about how seeing something from someone else's point of view is like seeing something from their mountain. To understand someone I have to understand the mountains they had to climb in life.
When I was a boy and I would get frustrated with one of my sisters my mom's typical response was to ask me if I could see the situation from my sister's point of view. My mom understood that seeing situations from someone else's point of view fostered understanding and respect for the other person and if you want to have healthy relationships, respect is a great place to start.
Respect is the foundation of a healthy community, a joyful family and a thriving learning environment. Respecting others goes hand in hand with Jesus' call to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Yesterday we celebrated the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and respect comes to mind again. The concept of respect eloquently describes what Dr. King was all about. As Christians, we recognize that God created all people in His own image and we are therefore called to respect all people. The difficulty is that each of us has had many experiences that have shaped the way we view life and others.
What Dr. King called us all to do was to put ourselves in the shoes of others and to see life from the point of view of others. It pained Dr. King to see poverty, inequality and injustice and he called all Americans to join him as he opposed them. In essence, Dr. King was simply asking that as Christians and Americans we respect each other. He preached that if we start with respect for all people, equality would be a natural result. This is a message that still rings true today....in our school, in our community and in our nation.