Words Matter and Respect Is Everything

Today more than ever, there's a need to remember two things: words matter and respect is everything.

We know that things start at the top, whether in companies, organizations, or yes, politics, and that if leadership fails to demonstrate respect for others via words and actions, it becomes acceptable for others to act similarly.

We at Education Navigation understand that millions of children struggle to garner respect because of their differences, and that these children are often on the receiving end of words that have an immediate sting, yet last a lifetime. We work to help ensure that children are included, have equal opportunities, are recognized for their skills and strengths, and are not on the receiving end of disparaging words and actions. And we teach those with outdated, biased, and harmful views how to think and behave differently. It simply makes the world a better place for everyone.

As parents and adults, there has never been a time when teaching and modeling appropriate words and behavior matters more. And this isn't only to our children, but to those around them as well. Extended families, teachers, neighbors, the community...matters not where the gaps exist, we must be prepared to fill them. And we must also be aware of our own words and actions as well.

Demonstrating that acceptance, respect, and inclusion matters more than wealth or fame has to be a priority. That "do unto others" is more than a saying. That maligning, mocking, or being hurtful simply isn't okay. And we must make it just as important to teach our sons, brothers, and husbands to respect girls and women as it is to teach our daughters, sisters, and friends to respect themselves.

It's easy to focus on the outrage many are feeling (including myself) about the pattern of words and actions of an individual who should be demonstrating the best vs. the worst, yet we need to focus instead on showing in our everyday interactions what genuine respect looks like. It matters more today than ever. Our children are watching. As is the world.