"Every man is to be respected as an absolute end in himself; and it is a crime against the dignity that belongs to him to use him as mere means to some external purpose." -Immanuel Kant
The fifth convention of the Visionmaker's Code is Be Respectful.
Respect is defined as "due regard for the feelings, wishes rights, and traditions of others." Respect involves open-heartedness, the commitment to understand other people's needs, perspectives, values and actions before judging them and the flexibility to embrace diversity.
Immanuel Kant provides guidance about why respect and dignity must be at the forefront of our moral and ethical choices. This is especially relevant now, when the lack of integrity amongst leaders in many of our institutions has brought instability and calamity to the world.
Kant warns us that we are committing a crime by misusing power to dominate, manipulate, and misuse other people. When we use others as a means to an end we are venturing into the dark terrain of sociopathy. In Visionmaking, this is known as sorcery.
Visionmakers must consider the intrinsic value and dignity of other people, and act with the respect that they would expect to receive. This is a courtesy that is extended to each person as a Visionmaker-someone who is making an original and authentic journey to meaning.
Ultimately, respect is a practice of open-heartedness. By extending our full attention and receptivity to all we meet, we announce that everyone deserves to be honored as a Visionmaker.
By being respectful, a Visionmaker recognizes that Destiny is tirelessly working through every available channel–people, circumstances, chance encounters and synchronistic events. Because of this, we can't afford to dismiss or diminish anyone.
Such arrogance betrays the irresponsible disregard for the gifts and the mission that may lie hidden within an unlikely package.
Your thoughts are most welcome on this, or any other, post. Thank you for taking the time to visit Visions.
© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.