Respect. What is that exactly?
And I’m not talking about the song by Aretha Franklin.
By definition respect is:
…a way of treating or thinking about something or someone. If you respect your teacher, you admire her and treat her well.
So should we only respect those people deserving of it? Or who have proven that they’re respect worthy?
Generally there are certain people that we respect because our families taught us to. Elders, police, judges and just people important to society in general.
Of course those who have proven themself worthy of our respect are easier to respect but we shouldn’t limit ourselves to them.
I think that we should respect everyone and everything until they don’t deserve it anymore. And everyone should decide on their own when that point is reached.
But what is respect really?
Treating someone well and with kindness. That’s essentially it.
And that actually has nothing to do with “respect”. It has to do with humanity.
Respect is such a big word for the little things in life.
Smiling at strangers.
Helping an old lady into the bus.
Giving your seat to those who need it more.
Greeting that neighbor every morning when walking by despite his constant look of displeasure.
Tipping in a restaurant.
Trying to be a good person even if it doesn’t always work out.
And generally just loving yourself.
That’s all it takes to live in a world we want to live in. To treat everyone with respect.
Because being mean only hurts yourself in the end. Who wants to be friends with a mean person?
What I don’t mean is that you have to be nice to people you genuinely don’t like. But maybe instead of badmouthing them you could just don’t mind them.
There will always be people one doesn’t like.
But not only people deserve our respect.
I may sound awfully hippie for saying this, but we should also respect nature. Keep the balance so to speak.
And those people who have no respect for anyone?
There are always people like that. You can’t change them. But at least we can protect others from people like that.
Hate is definitely no solution. It’s just very bad form.
To conclude this little article:
Respect isn’t easy. Start with yourself.