Respect for ourselves, respect for others, and now showing respect for property – both our own and that of others. Lets start with items that might belong to us, a book, bike, a drawing or toy. Remember we talked about how “respect is the behavior shown something or someone that we value”. All of us can understand the value we place on items that we own. We may have a special book that we love – we value – it was given to us by a special person in our life or we love the story. We personally want to take care of it, being sure to put it away in a special place. We are careful not to tear the pages or break the binding. When we share it with others, we tell them how special it is to us and give them the rules we have for sharing it with them. We treat this book “like it matters’. We value it and expect others to do the same.
Lets imagine that we own a bike – a very special bike exactly what we always wanted. How would we show respect for this gift from our parents or grandparents? Would we leave it out in the driveway, laying on the ground overnight, or out in the rain? Of course not. We would want to be sure that we cared for it as if it really mattered to us. If someone wanted to borrow it we may choose to say, “I do not lend my bike out.” or we may lend it with the request that they treat it with ‘respect’.
We can think of items that are important to our friends and family too. Sometimes they are items that came from their parents or have special significance due to who or where they came from. With these items, we would be sure to ask for permission to touch, hold or borrow them. I remember a special necklace that my wife wore that her grandmother had given her. There was no great monetary value to the necklace, it was valued because of who had gifted the item. That sort of special meaning and comfort from that item – made it irreplaceable.
Respect for property, whether it is ours or others is all based on understanding the value of the item, monetary, sentimental or because it was gifted to us.