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Aug
08
The First R

by Kevin R. Foley, M.Ed., LPC

Years ago, I was honored to lead a community correctional facility for adolescent felony offenders. No day was dull. One of the important things we did, however, was installing a philosophy that staff and residents could focus. Everything we reinforced had to model the philosophy of Respect

Respect Yourself

The first R was Respect Yourself. This simple phrase was initially easy to dismiss by the kids. Respect was one almost one of their primary demands. "He better respect me, Mr. Foley." Disrespect was often a trigger to a fight among the teenage boys.

Respecting yourself became a much deeper concept that they expected. Staff called out a resident each time they deliberately avoided doing the "right thing," as it disrespected themselves. They were encouraged to talk positively to themselves and others as a form of self-respect.

Few of us are consciously aware of how we can respect ourselves better. Our thoughts of doubt and self-criticism are disrespectful. We can eat junk food for comfort, but not out of respect for our own physical body.

For today, work on respecting yourself. Correct yourself when you begin to put yourself down. Start encouraging and making decisions as you would want for one of your closest friends.

Respect yourself today.

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