On Respect

Do these sound familiar? 

How do I know if I am worthy of respect?

Should I respect him/her?

I must earn their respect!

I want to be respected!

In the examples given it is assumed that respect is external and therefore, it must be earned, like an object that is available only after some type of level is reached. Its interesting that as I write this I place myself in this exact internal position and anxiety starts to develop straight away, there is this deep uncertainty about my worth and my place in the scheme of life. Not a very empowering state is it? 

If respect must be earned according to highly subjective standards that vary greatly from person to person, we are constantly insecure, uncertain about were we stand in relation to another. We may have to little of it and act inferior to others, or we may feel others do not deserve to have it and so we feel superior, above the crowd, king/queen of the hill, untouchable by the less worthy. Sound familiar? 

Perhaps we can think about respect in a different way. 

What if respect is Not something external? What if respect is something you are born with? Something that is an integral part of you. What if respect is something you can only give? 

If respect is something I have simply because I am alive, them it is something I have in relation to the world within me and by extension, the world around me. In other words I respect others, I respect everything, and by showing this respect for others, others will recognize what was theirs all along, even if only for a brief instant in some cases. 

So what would happen if we all simply respect everyone and everything?  For many of us this requires some work over time to undo, mental programming and even trauma in many cases. It requires conscious effort and in my opinion it is worth doing, because the world view from this perspective is worthwhile and opens the doors to other issues that are otherwise inaccessible. Also when working with respect we are faced with other concurrent issues such as acknowledging our limits, realizing our potentials, and that “small” issue of boundaries. Yes I respect you, AND I will not allow you to abuse me. 

So I believe we can say that respect is impersonal from the perspective that We can experience it for All that exists around us and within us, AND it is also personal when we express it in our words and actions relating to another being. 

It appears that respect is one of those “things” that naturally grows within when we give it away freely, no expectations, the more I respect and express this respect, the more I experience respect myself. 

In my experience much in life starts with respect, I feel it for you, I give it to you and it naturally grows.

Respectfully yours,

I. Amaral

Yes You Can

yes you can move beyond the feeling of panic, being stressed, overwhelmed, lonely, in despair. You have the ability to be relaxed, focused, calm and active, working and living with a sense of joy and purpose. In fact you can even live in a state of loving connection with the reality of who you are as a being, as a creative arm of the Universe, an expression of the Divine in action. But there is more, because you can experience the mystical life that is the connection with the Beloved, to be taken in the arms of all that is and fly above all you ever thought was possible. To open your eyes and see God in all, to close your eyes and be taken in ecstatic embrace by Love itself. And one day to consciously transcend into truth and realise that the Universe sees through your eyes, God thinks through your brain, Divine Universal Truth Wills you through your very Spirit into every cell of your bare bones as you are Life and God and Universe in Full Flowing Creative Expression in a Mystery that is Everything that ever was and ever will be.

Is Happiness important?

I guess that if you think about your loved ones you would agree that their happiness is important to you, after all you probably feel good when they are happy. What about you? Is your happiness important? I mean, does it matter to you if you are happy? Does it matter for our society if you are happy?

Because of everything that is happening specially in Greece and Europe I was really interested in the scientific perspective that answers these questions.

Well, there is an increasing amount of research that is giving really good answers to these questions. To such an extent that in 2012 the United Nations established the International Day of Happiness on the 20th of March of each year.

What researchers have found is that people that are generally happier or have higher levels of well-being are more sociable and have more energy than people that report being less happy. They are generally more charitable and cooperative, and perhaps not surprisingly more liked by others.

In fact there is evidence that the thinking process of people that are generally happier is substantially more flexible and ingenuous. In relation to work they show greater levels of productivity, they are better leaders, better negotiators and possibly as a result they earn more money.

In terms of health and the ability to face difficulties happier people also have a considerable advantage. They are more resilient in the face of hardship, have stronger immune systems, are physically healthier and live longer.

So it is an advantage to be a generally happy person! But I have to wander, are these people happy and therefore they experience these benefits? Or: some people have these characteristics anyway and because of that, they experience generally happier lives?

So what I really want to know is this: If I increase my happiness levels in general, do I start experiencing higher levels of these characteristics? Short & Simple answer: YES!

So, what do you think? In light of this knowledge is it relevant for you and me to be happier in our lives for the improvement of our society?

Here is the Mothership of all questions: Can we increase our happiness? YES! HOW?

The answer to that is not as simple as one may think but we will start to explore it on the next blog on this topic.


(Original version of this article was published in it´s Greek version on the newspaper Ανατολή)