Acceptance, caring, compassion, connection, empathy, kindness, Love, RECK, respect, Tolerance, Uncategorized, Well-Being

“The Delightful Dozen” Values for Wellbeing

The formula of Respect, Empathy, Compassion, and Kindness (RECK) came from a place of researching the essential things all people need in order to be well. The idea was that we should treat all people with RECK for the sake of their wellbeing and the prevention of harm. First I created a Facebook page called RECK Pact, which called people to pledge themselves to treat all people with RECK, all the time. This evolved into a rebranding of the page to RECK for All – putting the call right into the name.

Recently, I was reflecting upon how important tolerance, acceptance, and love (these three values come up in comments frequently) are, which led me to write this post. Around that same time, this reflection led me to rebrand our Facebook page once again to “It Matters How We Treat One Another.” This statement is an assertion I have made several times since starting our Facebook page and it always gets a highly positive response. This name change has received a positive response from the nice folks who follow the page.

Since making that change to the page I’ve been reflecting upon the all the things that help create positive interpersonal relations – all the things that foster good emotional health in individuals. So far, I’m up to 12.

Here are the Essential 12 AKA the “The Delightful Dozen”:

  1. Dignity – Make people feel like they are worthy of your interest and your time. Basic human dignity is essential to wellbeing.
  2. Respect – Hold people in sufficient esteem. Often, I describe this as recognizing the fact that we all have struggled and we all have overcome hardships in our lives. It’s important to have at least a basic level of respect for people.
  3. Equity – Treat everyone as equal to you, neither above you nor below you. This is healthy for you and for them.
  4. Empathy – This is to feel with others. Our world would be radically changed for the better if we all made a greater effort to empathize with one another.
  5. Compassion – To feel another’s pain and desire to relieve that pain. Compassion is humanity’s greatest hope for a brighter future. May we all be well.
  6. Kindness – This is to have a basic level of tenderness for all people. It is healthy to be kind to people. It benefits and giver and the receiver.
  7. Acceptance – To love people as their are. An acceptance of difference is inclusive of tolerance, so I have not chosen to list tolerance separately. Acceptance is tolerance taken to the next level of positivity.
  8. Love – This is to hold people close to your heart. Love creates a kinder and gentler world.
  9. Grace – This is basically to give people the benefit of the doubt. It is also the idea of believing that the individuals in our lives are basically good.
  10. Forgiveness – Let go of hurt and resentments. Let others “off the hook.”
  11. Integrity – People need to be able to feel like they can trust us to be truthful and dependable. It matters what we do even when no one is looking.
  12. Humor – We all need a little levity from time to time. Of course, it’s never appropriate to mock others. Everyone should be in on the joke. Humor can either lift people up or tear them down, so we must be careful with our humor.

That’s RECK turned to 11. Instead of looking at the most basic elements that everyone needs in order to be well, this is looking at all of the things people can do to help make others well and to improve our relationships.

I have to say that this is and has been a really exciting journey. It’s fun to think about all the things we can do to be well and help others be well. There’s so much suffering and struggle in the world, there is really no reason to compound it for one another. Let’s all help one another to be well!

Much love to you,

Matthew Vasko

Founder, Century of Compassion

Acceptance, compassion, empathy, kindness, Love, RECK, respect, Tolerance

RECK, Tolerance, Acceptance, and Love

It might seem silly to read this, but I spent almost 15 years developing the concept of RECK (Respect, Empathy, Compassion, and Kindness) for All. It’s such a simple concept, and I think some people look at it and say, “Yes, for course we should all treat one another that way.” But that’s part of what took so long. I spent a lot of time debating that which is essential that we need to give to all people, and that which we are realistically able to give to all people.

There are three elements that I’ve strongly considered including or did include in RECK at some point and time. Originally, I included Tolerance. But I discovered that tolerance is a fraught value for many people. Some people think of tolerance as too much to ask. Or maybe that tolerance also included tolerating ugly things like hatred and abuse. For others, they thought we should do better than tolerance; we should truly accept one another. Acceptance in beautiful, but can we accept child abuse for example? No. Most certainly not.

Those are the first two, tolerance and acceptance. The third value is love. Love seems like such a no-brainer for me, because I grew up admiring the teachings for Jesus and his concept of universal love. But the fact of the matter is that some people simply do not know how to love properly. Many people have been harmed by love that seeks to control or manipulate… harmed by forms of love that do harm.

So, here we are… RECK for All. Respect, Empathy, Compassion, and Kindness for all people. I often think of RECK as a pathway to loving people properly. Plus, respect combined with empathy and kindness can lead to greater tolerance and acceptance.

The more I think about it, and the more RECK is tempered in the fires of real world use, the more I feel like it is enough. It is good. Yes, let’s improve our tolerance. Yes, let’s be more accepting of one another. And yes, by all means, let’s make an effort to love one another better… and RECK is the tool we can use to help us achieve those things.

All the best to you,

Matthew Vasko

Founder, Century of Compassion

kindness, RECK, Uncategorized

2021: The Year of Kindness

Although it started out like a normal year, 2020 ended up being anything but normal. Times of great change can teach us a great deal. The social isolation of 2020 taught us how much family, friends, and community matter. There was more complexity to 2020, of course. There was also social and political unrest, and mourning for the loss of loved ones to COVID-19 and to other causes.

Perhaps 2020 also brought you some joy. Hopefully, it did. That seemed to be a lesson of 2020: that we all have the power to help improve the lives of those around us in small and large ways. And that’s where our theme for 2021 comes in. We’re branding 2021 as “The Year of Kindness.” The time just feels right. Doesn’t it feel like we need a year of kindness?

So, let’s focus on the positive. Let’s think of ways to brighten the days of the people we love and even complete strangers. Practice random acts of kindness towards all kinds of random people. Practice deliberate acts of kindness for the people close to us in our lives. Stated simply: Let’s keep kind in mind. Do all things with kindness.

At Century of Compassion, we believe that all people deserve to be and should be treated with respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness (RECK). Often, when I speak of kindness I make reference to loving kindness. This is kindness taken to the next level. Kindness done for, through, and with love. Kindness matters. And we should be kind in a loving way.

Please subscribe to our blog and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @RECKforAll. We’ll continue to provide inspiration throughout the year.

With love,

Matthew Vasko

Founder, Century of Compassion

RECK

Fauci Prescribes a Healthy Dose of Respect

In an article in the Los Angeles Times on Friday, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed concerns that many Americans say they would not get the COVID-19 vaccine when one becomes available. An article subheading entitled “Debunk false statements about vaccines with respect” states, “Fauci said there’s a hardcore group of anti-vaxxers ‘who, no matter what you do, you’re not going to change their mind.’ But there’s also another group of people who are against vaccines because, Fauci said, ‘they’ve absorbed misinformation.’ Fauci said people should not ‘denigrate, accuse or disrespect people who don’t want to get vaccinated if you feel you want to convince them to change their minds. If you could, in a way that’s [non-confrontational], give them the correct information, you may be able to win them over.'”

This statement from Fauci echoes a case I often make about attempting to win people over to your side – especially on social media. I regularly say that we are never going to be able to argue or shame people out of their positions. The way to win people over to your side is to focus on the positive benefits of your side of the disagreement. With time, we can often coax people over to our way of thinking.

The problem with blaming and shaming is that it doesn’t give people any wiggle room. And once people feel cornered they go into fight mode (and often double-down on their position). We are much better off to focus on the positive and work to coax people out of their corners. This is the approach I take with RECK for All on social media. I might point to a problem, but then I quickly shift to how we can best fix that problem through having respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness (RECK) for all people.

This is true of several aspects of this pandemic. Take mask wearing as an example. If we want to win people over to wearing masks then we need to keep selling them on all of the positive reasons why it is wise to wear a mask. After all, mask wearing helps to protect everyone. It is important for the greater good. Wearing a mask makes you a hero! (See what I did there?)

So, let’s keep focusing upon the positive. Keep working hard to win people over to your way of thinking by focusing upon its positive aspects and benefits. Because when you treat all people with respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness everyone wins!

compassion, empathy, kindness, Love, RECK, respect, Uncategorized

We Need a Revolution of Connection

Do you ever feel a longing for connection? Real connection? More than another text or email, or even another casual conversation? In our fast-paced, screen-time-heavy world, it seems like we are drifting further and further apart from one another.

This is not to say that we have ever been that socially connected in my lifetime. A child of the 80’s, I feel like I was practically raised by the television – long before smart phones came along demanding our attention.

Perhaps there was a time when communities were closer knit, but it hasn’t been in my lifetime. Essentially, I find myself longing for some Utopian past I never knew. Or perhaps it never really existed to begin with. Who knows.

But here’s the thing. It sure does seem like we could reduce the amount of conflict in the world if people would just sit down and talk to one another. How are we ever going to work out our differences if we keep splitting ourselves into smaller and smaller factions?

We need a revolution of connection! Meaningful connection – deep conversations where we work through our misunderstandings and disagreements. This is the kind of connection where trust is built and where genuine community takes shape.

Our fast-paced, cold, indifferent world needs reflection on connection, a Renaissance of nuance, and a renewed unity of community!

And of course I feel compelled to add that as we undergo this revolution of connection, we must strive to treat one another with respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness. Honestly, I find these qualities lacking in our modern world as well. We are all perfectly capable of treating one another better, but it takes self control and a determination of will. It begins with us wanting to do better.

So, find ways to connect with others in a meaningful way. Unplug. Get real face-to-face time with others. Schedule unstructured time with your family with no screens and lots of conversation. Go out for lunch and coffee with friends. Make time for connection.

Join a church, social organization or bowling league. Heck, join a group you disagree with and work towards changing them from the inside. Just get out there!

Real connection takes real effort, and it is worth it. It pays big dividends with regard to improved mental and emotional health.

So, answer your inner call – your yearning – for connection. Let the revolution begin! And you’ll be glad you did.

Love to you, always.

Matthew Vasko

Founder, Century of Compassion