Being a huge rugby fan I am often encouraged to see the respect that the players show the officials and referees. Rugby is a complex and physically hard game which requires discipline from both teams to make it as safe as possible. To allow the game to flow and for players to play at their best requires adherence to the rules. I have seen many games in which a player has been sent off to the sin bin for 10 minutes without any fuss or disagreement. At times tries have been disallowed and accepted as such, even though later evidence may show otherwise. Players accept that the referee is doing his or her job to the best of their abilities and show the respect that is due even though they may disagree with decisions or outcomes.
Respect is a sense of worth and value that you attach to yourself or others. The rugby players value the skills of the referee and of each other. However respect has to start with you, the value and worth that you have for yourself. It is about accepting responsibilities, listening, valuing your attributes and skills and recognising that you are just as valued and important as anyone else. In a team sport such as rugby no one person can ever win a game, every single person is important.
Within a team, players can make mistakes, but you don’t see any blame – players just carry on with the game. In life not everything goes our way and although we don’t necessarily agree with decisions we can still respect how and why the decision is made. Blaming others for mistakes is neither useful nor helpful. Blame may help us to feel superior or to shift focus away from ourselves but it is not constructive in helping us move forward or deal with the situation. It may seem an easy option but in the long run nobody benefits from blame.
Whether you are a sports person or not take a leaf out of rugby’s ethics and conduct to show respect for yourself and others alongside valuing your own unique attributes and skills.