Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Principled Commitment: An Adult Program on Building Strong Relationships

Alternate Activity 3: Skills For Communicating Dignity - Respect

Activity time: 10 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Newsprint
  • Markers
  • Easel

Description of Activity

Introduce the activity with these or similar words:

The educator Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot writes:

Respect is a circle. It is about symmetry. It's about reciprocity. Even if there are differences in knowledge and status and power and resources and skills, respect is a great equalizer. It is the ways in which we can be symmetric with one another, and it comes again through this sense of connection in relationships.

A central dimension of being respectful to another person is being genuinely curious about who the person is, what the person is about, and what the person's dreams and fears are. It's a matter of wanting to know how others think and feel. Respect requires a special kind of sensitivity. It involves treating others civilly and courteously, accepting personal differences, listening to what others have to say, and refraining from ridicule.

Invite participants to think about respectful people. Ask:

  • What do respectful people do?

Record responses on newsprint. As needed, you may add that respectful people:

  • Treat others the way they would want to be treated
  • Behave considerately
  • Work to solve problems without violence
  • Avoid intentionally ridiculing, embarrassing, or hurting others

Conclude the activity by inviting participants to discuss:

  • What values or qualities are important to a respectful relationship?
  • How can we demonstrate respect to our partners?