Respect is earned.
And you must always treat others the way you want to be treated.
It’s a life lesson 55-year-old father of three, Mose Brown, wants to share with young people of Samoa.
“There are traditional ways through ‘avatuli and avafatafata’ – respect,” he said.
From Vaitele-Fou, Mose said there were so many issues at the area especially when there’s no village council to lead.
“But we have our own ways of dealing with issues, and that is through respect ‘avafatafata’,” he said.
“That’s how my family has solved many problems in the area ever since we moved to Vaitele-Fou years ago.”
“I think that’s an important fact about our people and our culture, no matter where you’re heading in this life,” he told the Village Voice.
“But if you’re a Samoan, then you understand what I’m talking about, there’s no need to call the police when you can talk to the parents of that child who is throwing rubbish onto your land.”
He believes: “It’s all about peace, and that’s what our family is doing now, we have neighbours and as of today we are like one family.”
“We all know that Vaitele-Fou has families living in their house and on their own land and you don’t have the authority to tell them what to do when something is wrong.”
“But it’s all about respecting one another, it all about understanding that there’s a sick mother at your neighbour’s house and you have to turn the radio and noise down.”
“It’s all about knowing when it is time for evening service...drivers make sure to slow down and stop making a lot of noises.”
“I mean it’s all about respect.”
“And the best way to show respect is for someone to truly listen to another person’s opinion to solve and settle unexpected matters that could arise because of misunderstanding.”
Moreover he said “Imagine if everyone lived a peaceful life.”
“Respect is an overall evaluation you give someone based on many factors - how they treat you and others, what that person is doing with their life, whether they are honest or not.”
“To my own opinion respect is a two way thing – you have to respect others for you to be respected.”