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Respect as Basis For Health and Wellness

Margit Cathrine Moller

If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die. - Maya Angelou

Respect (n.) c.1300, from the Latin word respectus "regard," literally the "act of looking back at one," pp. of respicere "look back at, regard, consider," from re- "back" + specere "look at". The verb is 1540s, from the noun. Meaning "treat with deferential regard or esteem" is from 1550s.

The word developed at the height of age of enlightenment, but the essence is as old as human civilization.

Respect is considered as the foundation of any human relationship. Without respect, no marriage will ever prosper and bear fruit. Without respect, a family will cease to function as a unit of society. Without respect, members of a community will fight against each other.

But more importantly, respect is the basis of our relationship with the self – including our body. One of the most debated issues today is whether a person has a right to health care, meaning at a certain level a person can demand from the government the appropriate support so that he or she remains healthy. But before health is considered a right, it is anchored on the person’s responsibility to take care of his own health and wellness.

This is what respect is all about. But how do you develop self-respect, especially for the body:

Here are some strategies to try:

1. Do something good for your body. This includes such essential commitments like eating properly, sleeping well and doing the necessary exercise. If you do this regularly, your body will express its gratitude and you feel good about yourself.

2. Use your body to do good deeds. It is as simple as hugging a tired friend or lifting a disabled relative.

3. Keep a body resolution. This includes our own commitment to stop smoking, or minimize alcohol, or stop drugs.

4. Become an expert of your own body. At a certain age, you should know what the body wants. If you listen well to our body, you know what it needs. You know what food to avoid. You know the people who perk you up.

5. Challenge yourself physically. Do something that you think you are incapable of doing. It could be mountain-climbing or sailing or anything that you wanted to do but do not have the confidence to do it.