The Power of Being Heard and Feeling Understood

“Respect one another” is something I had heard my teacher say in the third grade. I remember how we all looked at her, our juvenile minds unable to fully comprehend what this phrase meant and how to implement it into our lives. We didn’t know what respect was, picking on others and getting picked because of the diversity that we are was a norm… a sick and cruel norm.

In High School the diversity was still there strong as ever, but so was the lack of respect towards one another, a phrase that was ushered to us 9 years previous. Students would do things and say things, such things bringing along heated disagreements and chaos.

Over the years, I have learned that you don’t have to agree with somebody in order to respect them. Showing respect is the best gift you can give somebody; it’s all about being heard and feeling understood which is just as important as hearing and understanding what your neighbour has to say. We need to stop trying to change people and their decisions to suit us.

My English teacher once said, “If you can look at yourself in the mirror the following day and be 100% proud of yourself, then all is well.”

I believe that that is all that truly matters – how you view yourself.

- Zane Nxumalo