This MooseBoots journey of mine has been moving in spite of the lack of public record. Sometimes, we learn best through quiet observation. The last few weeks have been very busy with dance recital and all of the associated practices and photo sessions.
I ran the sound (CD player) for the show. It was very simple because the young lady who recorded the CDs did an excellent job. At the dress rehearsal, one of the songs was wrong, but she had a copy of the correct song on another CD. In her haste to continue the rehearsal, she gave me the CD and quickly ran back on stage. Her mother was standing there when it happened and said something to the effect that she would have to talk to her because she did not say please and thank you. This young lady, one week after the recital, just turned twenty-one years old. I was a bit embarassed ... I hadn't noticed and responded that she was busy and that I had not taken any offense. Her mom looked at me and said that there is never a time that you are too busy to be polite.
I received a nice card the next day thanking me for doing such a great job and being so laid back about the frantic pace with which everything seemed to be moving. This got me thinking ... I was volunteering my time to help out with the show. My girls were all dancing in it. Wendy was backstage frantically applying make-up to thirty girls' faces and winding their respective heads of hair into buns and high ponytails with the skill of a rodeo cowboy. I was simply doing my part ... the fact is that I have been on the sidelines for most of the nine years we have been dancing there. I also participated in the Father / Daughter dance this year, but that is another story ....
It did start me thinking. I put much more effort into other areas and receive little to no acknowledgement for my efforts. Right now, those of you who read Wendy's blog and have been following along know we have house guests. They have fallen on hard times and have been with us since March. We have not asked for anything in return for giving them a place to live, food to eat, etc. besides a plan on how they are going to move back out and "take flight" again. It is unspoken, perhaps that is my fault, that we expect some consideration ... in the winter, when the wood box is empty, fill it ... when you use dishes, wash them from time to time ... if the lawn needs to be mowed or wood needs to be split or stacked ... simply acknowledge that we exist in lieu of coming and going at all hours of the night/day and hiding out in a room avoiding us when we are all home ....
R-E-S-P-E-C-T. I like this definition - Willingness to show consideration or appreciation.
C-O-N-S-I-D-E-R-A-T-I-O-N - thoughtful concern for others.
A-P-P-R-E-C-I-A-T-I-O-N - recognition of the quality, value, or significance of people or things.
So, together ... respect is a willingness to show thoughtful concern for, or recognition of the quality, value, or significance of, others. The two previous examples provide a stark contrast that seems so common today. The former owed me nothing and was completely grateful for the smallest thing. The later example is the complete opposite.
Regardless, this message of respect has been coming from a number of directions. It was this message and my deep seated person values that put me squarely on this path some time ago. We share this planet with so many plants, animals, and other people ... we need each other to survive. I try to live as well as I can with honor and respect to all of the other people (animal, plant, spirit, or otherwise) that share this path and whose paths cross mine. This belief is what first started me down the path of exploring survival skills, hide tanning, and herbal medicines. I still thank the chickens when I take them to the butcher, because I recognize that they are providing me life by sacrificing theirs. I thank the hides when I work with them for their gift.
Respect can only come from being aware of your surroundings and interactions. I have really begun to see that any skill can be learned, but real keen awareness is required to use it properly. Perhaps, we as a society have it backwards ... we appreciate having a skill rather than developing a skill out of an appreciation for something or someone. I know that I have a good life and I am grateful.
I hope that I always carry in my heart, on this MooseBoots journey, an appropriate level of respect and gratitude for all of the gifts I have been given and continue to receive everyday. As Tamarack Song points out, "Patience and respect open all doors." Thank you all for reading and allowing me to share what little I have to offer.