We need to have this same humility and gratitude to the people who contribute to our Asheville School society. What is this humility and gratitude called? Yes, it’s that one word again—respect. Whether you know it or not, each one of you contributes to this small community. As one TV special put it, “Everybody has a story.” At Asheville School, we have a unique opportunity, as with every opportunity, to learn each of those stories in a different light, whether it’s from a Korean aspect, an American one, a Scottish one, or a Jamaican one. What an opportunity! This school lets you respect one another by giving you the opportunity to learn about the rest of the world and to see it through other’s eyes and perspectives.
We have the honor code, a code instituted by students for respecting each other’s property, privacy, knowledge, and integrity. Without respect, our school would not function in the same way. Our school is a caring community and that caring comes from respect.
Let me tell you a quick story illustrating the significance of respect. This story is about the great musician Paderewski and a young child. A mother brought her young son to one of Paderewski’s concerts. As his mother turned to talk to a friend before the concert began, the boy disappeared. He reappeared on the stage, approached the grand piano, sat down, and began to play the one song he knew best, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.” As he played, the great Paderewski tiptoed up behind him and whispered into his ear to continue playing. Then, Paderewski started to play an accompaniment and created an incredible performance with the young boy. It was the great musician sitting next to the boy who just wanted to play his favorite song. The respect Paderewski showed to this little child was enormous. Paderewski could have easily told the boy to stop so that he, the great maestro, could continue with his own concert. Instead, Paderewski worked with the boy’s simple talent, and together they created something more incredible than either could have created alone. We can do just the same. We can respect each other for each person’s abilities and talents, whether great or small. Out of respect, we can work together to accomplish more than each of us can do alone.
Respect in and of itself seems like a simple concept. It is! Yet, it isn’t. Nonetheless, working toward a respectful community is certainly worth the effort. Respect for each other’s abilities, knowledge, and experiences can go a long way. Respect for each other has the power to create one, big, happy family. Yes, perhaps this statement is a little over-simplified, but we do create a functional, cohesive family. No matter what you believe or how you think, respect lets you accept others in much the same way as they accept you. So, be patient, be kind, do not be envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude. Rejoice in truth. Believe all things; hope all things; endure all things. You will be the one who finds yourself filled with respect, but everyone will reap the rewards.
Go in peace and respect your neighbor, as you would like to be respected yourself.NOTE: This was written by a quite close friend of mine, Nathan Doane, and I didn't ask for permission to post it (yet)... but every single flattery should be delivered to him...
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