There are a lot of blog posts coming out at the moment around how to make 2017 better. How to be amazing, how to make your life amazing, how to avoid the pitfalls of previous years.

Long lists of do’s and don’ts, action plans, printable, etc. Some are done with humour, some in all seriousness, some apply to your professional life and others to personal growth. Most, if not all are really good suggestions, so read as many as you can and find the one that clicks with you.

I want to propose a very simple way to get 2017 to rock. 1 word, which I am sure you have guessed by now, 1 concept that is really basic but,as of yet, been ignored by many for far too long…RESPECT.

I am talking about:

Respecting yourself

  • Is the action you are about to take something that will make you proud?
  • Will you be able to look yourself in the eye and say “I did this and it was good for me”
  • Am I eating/ doing/ buying this because it will better me or because some one else is benefitting to my detriment?
  • Is this relationship toxic?

Respecting others

  • Am I doing this to help ro to hurt?
  • Will refusing the request really make a difference to my life?
  • Do I need to say these words I want to say.

I will tell you wha triggered these thoughts. There were a few incidents that really made me think that the route to our happiness is just a little respect, just a little bit.

Robin from Germany

I have a photographer friend who takes long exposure pictures of awesome looking things, like the cloth pulling over Table Mountain. He hikes up Lion’s Head to do this and spends a lot of time and puts in a lot of effort. This shows in the end result. He is also a really really nice guy who counts his blessings and is humble as they come.

One night, on one of these occasions, Robin from Germany, stepped into frame. The photographer asked him to please step out of the frame. Robin from Germany chose to be disrespectful and tell the photographer “I don’t care about your fucking camera”

Robin could have chosen to be respectful, either to say sorry and move away or even to disagree with the photographers request but be respectful about is decline.

Parkrun cheaters

At the Century City parkrun, there is a point where you walk up the Ratanga Junction parking lot, turn around and go back to the canal. There is a spot, where you cross the canal where you can cut out the car park part which is cheating, that’s a good 500 or so meters that you cut out. 3 ladies decided to do this where a friend pointed out to them that they had missed a big part of the walk.

They responded that they are not competing so it doesn’t matter. My friend responded that the 300 people behind them did care and it did matter to them as it is demotivating they responded with “Fuck you, who the fuck do you think you are” then later found my friend in the car park, followed her to her car and told her to “never fucking talk to them again”

Come on now. Is that how we want to be treated? Why must we treat people like that? You don’t want to do the full 5km then don’t but when someone points out your error there is no need to swear or threaten them. Disagree, sure but speak to someone the way you want to be spoken to

“Stolen” phone

A colleague of mine recently found a lost phone at the V&A Waterfront and decided that the right thing to do is to clear all the data and claim it as his own.

He did not hand it in to information, did not take it to the police station. Just figured this person doesn’t need their phone and definitely doesn’t need the images, contacts and messages it contained.

My point in telling these stories is that in all 3 cases there could have been a lot more happiness, love and blessings and instead there was anger and hatred and bad vibes.

So don’t be like Robin, Parkrun Ladies or my colleague. Be respectful, to yourself, to your environment and the people around you and 2017 is guaranteed to be a lot better.




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