Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to encourage respect and responsibility.

Post 411 - Continuing to explore Mike Josephson’s ideas about the six pillars of character, we move on from pillar number one, Trust, to pillars number two and three, Respect and Responsibility.

2. Respect.

Everyone has a right to be treated with dignity, so we have a duty to treat them with respect, regardless of who they are and what they may have done. The Golden Rule of doing unto others as we would have them do unto us illustrates this. This means avoiding violence, humiliation, manipulation and exploitation and instead emphasizing civility, courtesy, decency, dignity, autonomy, tolerance and acceptance.

- Civility, Courtesy and Decency

A respectful person always treats others with consideration. He doesn’t resort to intimidation, coercion or violence except in situations where he’s called on to defend others, maintain order, or further social justice. He uses punishment in moderation and only when it’s necessary to advance important social goals.

- Dignity and Autonomy

In order to help people make informed decisions about their own lives, a respectful person doesn’t withhold the information they need to do so. Rather, he allows everyone, including growing children, to have some say in decisions that may impact them. As advice columnist Dear Abby (Abigail van Buren) once said, "If you want your children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders."

- Tolerance and Acceptance

A respectful person recognizes and accepts individual differences and beliefs without prejudice, and judges others based on their character, abilities and behavior.

3. Responsibility.

Being responsible means being in charge of our own choices and, therefore, of how we live our lives. This means being accountable for what we do and who we are, and answerable for the consequences of our actions. A responsible person demonstrates this by exercising self-restraint and pursuing excellence in all things.

- Accountability

Adulthood is defined by our willingness to accept full responsibility for where we're at in life, no longer blaming others or our circumstances. An accountable person doesn’t try to shift the blame when things go wrong and doesn’t claim credit for the work of others. He thinks through the likely consequences of his behavior and associations, and recognizes that sins of omission are as culpable as sins of commission. He leads by example.

- Pursuit of Excellence

The pursuit of excellence has an ethical dimension when others rely on our knowledge, ability or willingness to perform our tasks safely and effectively. Diligence means always striving to do our best, and being reliable, careful, prepared and informed. Responsible people persevere and finish what they start. They work to overcome obstacles rather than avoiding them or making excuses such as, "It’s not my job." In addition, responsible people always look for ways to do their work better.

- Self-Restraint

Responsible people exercise self-control, and never seek to "win at any cost." They’re aware of who they choose to be, every single day of their life.

According to George Bernard Shaw, "We are made wise not by the recollection of our past, but by the responsibility for our future.”

Tomorrow, we conclude by examining fairness, caring and citizenship.


Anonymous said...

ur wise

Anonymous said...

and make alot of sense ...

john cotter said...

Thank you. Always easy to say and difficult to follow. Thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...

This is all crap

Anonymous said...

this author thinks he's smart, he used the word unto.. thats not a word...XD