Respect, it can be a complicated thing but it is indeed one of the most vital things in our society.
In our society today, we seem to hardly ever complete it without thinking to ourselves about how disrespectful someone was. However, for us to ever receive respect we must first give it, as it is said. For us in the older generations we know what it means to be respectful, however I am afraid that it is our children that a lacking in this virtue and it is not the fault of most parents but society’s as a whole.
So, what is this thing that we call respect?
When we honor the dignity and the worth in or fellow man or in a process, this is showing respect. You see, it is when we take others ideas and preferences seriously and to heart, we are showing respect. When we weigh our own experiences and insights against theirs, we show respect.
We typically think, our used to think, that it was mainly our elders that merited respect, because of their knowledge, insight and their wisdom that is gained through a lifetime of learning, mistakes and successes. In reality, it applies to all humankind.
Showing respect does not mean that one should insist that all beliefs, ideas or actions are respect worthy. What it does mean is that we as individuals recognize the basic human dignity of others and of all life. Yes, even when their ideas or their values are different from our own. We must always assume that each life and event has something to teach us. That is, if we are willing to learn.
Let me ask you a question, when you show disrespect toward someone, what is it that you gain? Not a thing. It is a waste of your efforts to show disrespect.
However, what is it that you get when you show respect toward another? You bring more respect to yourself. Other people are not always deserving of your respect but you must remember that respect is not a gift that is yours to grant. What it is, is a means of communication with all life and an understanding.
Friends, when we show respect we are investing in ourselves in the weaknesses of others, of life. Why is this important? It is important because when we do this we open doors that were once closed, we open arms that were once crossed and we speak with mouths that were once shut.
It is my wish, indeed my desire that you each invest in the strength of your own respect. You don’t always have to agree with the things that are said or done by others but you need to respect them. You see, a strong disagreement can lead to greater friendships and connections if done out of respect.
May we each from this day forward, speak with respect, think with respect and above all, act with respect towards all things and all people. When we do we will each bring more respect into our own lives and this is not only an investment in our individual futures but in the whole of humanities.