I was talking with my sister not too long ago, and we soon found ourselves discussing a variety of problems in the world. Sometimes it seems like there are so many things going wrong today, it’s hard not to get overwhelmed. How can one person possibly make things better? Luckily, my sister was able to bring some clarity to the discussion. She is a second grade teacher, and she and her colleagues have given a lot of thought to simplifying rules to live by. She shared a simple rule she uses in her classroom: “We follow the ROSE. We respect others, self, and environment.”
The phrase stopped me in my tracks. Is it really that simple? It occurred to me that if each of us followed the ROSE, we might start asking ourselves different questions before we acted or spoke: Is this respectful to others? Is this respectful to myself? Is this respectful to our environment? Our conversation stuck with me and I began to remind myself to use this lens to view my daily interactions and even my thoughts. Since doing this, I have seen a resounding difference.
Realizing that most of us are not in the leagues of criminals or going around doing hateful things, it may be those smaller, seemingly less eventful times when we can apply the rule. Thinking negative thoughts about a person? ROSE. Buying a plastic bottle instead of using a refillable one you already own? ROSE. The rule can even be used to transform unproductive time into something positive. After all, if you aren’t bringing good into the world, maybe there’s something better you could be doing.
By following the ROSE rule, I was able to see the ways I can make a difference in my own life and in others. This has created a greater sense of awareness in my everyday life.
If everyone could follow this rule on a grander scale, we might just make this a different world. We could see that helping others is in our best interest, and realize that our purpose may just be more than taking what we need. As my Daughter repeated from my Mom, “Without the earth there are no people to care for.” That’s why taking care of our environment is akin to taking care of others and ourselves.
As I embark on 2018, there are many goals to set and adventures to embark on, but no matter where I go and what I am doing, I will remind myself to follow the ROSE.