Recently, my husband and I were exploring an area we had not seen before. As we drove along, we noticed a lot of activity at a facility just off the highway, so we decided to have a look. There were trucks and livestock trailers, horses and cattle, and riders of all ages. As it turned out, it was a local Western riding competition with a variety of team events. So, we parked our car, I took out my camera and we headed for the main arena.
After a few minutes, I was most intrigued by the atmosphere and how welcoming everyone seemed to be. They graciously and patiently answered our multitude of questions. We quickly learned that this was a local event and most everyone we met was a competitor, related to a competitor or simply a friend offering support. From what we could ascertain, my husband and I were the only people not connected to participant in some way.
So what does this have to do with the theme of respect? Simply put, what I saw that day was a demonstration of caring, thoughtful and respectful relationships that also extended to how these people treated their livestock. Good-natured teasing drew howls of laughter, but a helping hand was readily available when needed. It was obvious the competitors were keen to win, but they demonstrated some of the best aspects of sportsmanship. We left later that afternoon feeling good about the world.