Songs have been written about it.
Parents teach their children about it.
People expect it.

But what is it – what does it involve – exactly?

How about “regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others”?

Bishop Greg Rickel (8th bishop of the Diocese of Olympia, WA), listed his “Ten Rules for Respect.”

From what I understand, he really does follow these rules.
Wouldn’t our world be a much kinder and safer place if everyone followed them

If all leaders (be they Bishops, CEO’s, politicians, office managers, store owners, parents, etc.), showed respect using Bishop Rickel’s rules, people would feel supported, encouraged, trusted.

The cycle of respect in the businesses, constituencies, congregations they serve, and families, would keep flowing.

Here are Bishop Rickel’s Ten Rules for Respect which are a model of behavior for us all in our interactions with others. All that’s needed is to put our own name in place of “Greg”.

1. If you have a problem with me, come to me (privately).

2. If I have a problem with you, I will come to you (privately).

3. If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send them to me (I’ll do the same for you.)

4. If someone consistently will not come to me, say “Let’s go to Greg together. I am sure he will see us about this.” (I will do the same for you).

5. Be careful how you interpret me. I’d rather do that. On matters that are unclear, do not feel pressured to interpret my feelings or thoughts. It is easy to misinterpret intentions.

6. I will be careful how I interpret you.

7. If it’s confidential, don’t tell. If you or anyone comes to me in confidence, I won’t tell unless a) the person is going to harm himself/herself b) the person is going to physically harm someone else, c) a child has been physically or sexually abused. I expect the same from you.

8. I do not read unsigned letters or notes.

9. I do not manipulate; I will not be manipulated; do not let others manipulate you. Do not let others manipulate me through you. I will not preach “at you.” I will leave conviction to the Holy Spirit (she does it better anyway).

10. When in doubt, just say it. The only dumb questions are those that don’t get asked. Our relationships with one another, at the end of the day, are the most important things, so if you have a concern, pray, and then (if led), speak up. If I can answer it without misrepresenting something, someone or breaking a confidence, I will.

Thank you, Bishop Rickel


© June Maffin