Yesterday, my husband and I took our kids to a youth rodeo in Bridger, MT. I’m not exactly sure how many years Bridger has put on this youth rodeo, but my guess is close to 30 years. It was an awesome event full of kids and horses of all ages and levels of experience. It was hot. And dusty. And long. And there were rodeo burgers, and hot dogs, and Gatorade, and Popsicles, and toy trucks and tractors in the dirt. Everything a good kids rodeo should include.

As the Star Spangled Banner played during the grand entry, I snapped this picture of our son, Brody, and his buddy, Colter.

No matter where he is, or what he’s doing, our 5 year old son knows to stop in his tracks and remove cover when he hears our National Anthem. It’s what we’ve taught our two kids, and I know many other parents out there have, as well. As I looked at the picture later, I thought ~ “We respect what we are taught to respect.”

Our once great nation is in a state of complete chaos and abandon. Did you see the pictures from the recent horrific tragedy in Dallas–pictures of police officers using their bodies to shield the very people who were there protesting THEM? I simply cannot wrap my head around that level of ignorance and lack of respect. In my humble opinion, that’s what the deterioration of our country boils down to. Lack of respect.

As parents, it is our social duty to teach our kids respect and demonstrate respect in our daily lives. Respect doesn’t mean agreeing with people just to be polite. In fact, it doesn’t mean altering your personal beliefs in any way, shape, or form. The word “respect” has many different definitions. My favorite is simply, “to show regard or consideration for.” My husband, Denver, and I are doing our best to build a firm foundation of respect in our kids. They have to shake hands, look people in the eye, say please and thank you, etc. These things are not “options” for our kids. They are mandatory. If we don’t teach them these respectful habits, who will? We have to teach our kids respect for authority! They need to know that though they may not agree with the decisions of teachers, coaches, law enforcement, etc, they must RESPECT them. They must respect their elders. They must respect their animals. They must respect their friends. They must respect US, their parents!

When I founded Go Rope, I wanted people to realize how blessed they were to able to compete in a sport they enjoyed with the people they love. My father’s severe traumatic brain injury suffered while team roping forced me to realize how quickly that could be taken away. When Go Rope launched, I simply wanted people to take the time to pause and be mindful of the blessings that we all take for granted. Since then, Go Rope has grown in so many ways and the meaning behind “Go Rope” has also evolved. I feel truly blessed that Go Rope has become a platform to recognize people of great character and reach out to those in need. One of the key components of all of this is respect. I encourage each of you reading this to make the choice “to show regard or consideration for” everyone you encounter. If you’re a parent, make a choice to raise respectful kids. Lord knows the world needs more of them.

Give Respect. Go Rope.

God Bless,