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Kistēyihtamowin

Respect

Kistēyihtamowin is an important value to remember.

Showing others kistēyihtamowin is essential, as is being aware that we all have an equal right to be kihceyihtāsosiw (respected). There is no need to show another person pīwihiwewin (disrespect), even if they were the one to first disrespect you. Being miyopikihaw (respectful) extends both ways — showing kistēyihtamowin will earn you kistēyihtamowin. Even if you are not particularly fond of another person, you must be sīpiyawēsiw (tolerant) and nahinakwan (reasonable).

“What goes around comes around; treat others as you would like to be treated.”

Kistēyihtamowin is not just for others, however. There is also manācihisowin (self-respect). It is important not only to be miyopikihaw to others, but also to yourself. It is vital that we realize that everybody deserves to be treated kisewātotakew (kindly) by both others and ourselves. But as with all good things, too much manācihisowin can be bad. It is great to have manācihisowin, but you must take care to make sure that it does not lead to an over-inflated ego. There is a thin line between mamisītotamowin (confidence) and ayiwākeyimisowin (arrogance). Knowing where that line is is extremely important.

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing it is stupid.”

— Albert Einstein

All of that being said, a little bit of kistēyihtamowin will bring you further than you can imagine. There are many ways you can kistēyihtamowin others, people will appreciate you for it, and they will happily reciprocate the kistēyihtamowin you show them. And always remember, you deserve to be kihceyihtāsosiw.

Kinanaskomitin ohci ayamihchikewin!

Below are several links on kistēyihtamowin that may be of interest to you:

Solomon Ratt’s Cree teaching on kistēyihtamowin.

A great blog post on learning how to better respect yourself

A short list on how being respectful towards other people can improve your relationships as well as a follow up reading.

 

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