Respect is something that is important for everyone, be it family members, friends, romantic partners or a poor person on the road. People usually respect those who are important for some reason, such as being in authority — like teacher, police officers or the elderly. Respect is also called esteem, it’s a positive feeling or action.
Perhaps, I feel this definition should be modified. For instance, children have to respect their parents, but parents never show respect towards their children. It’s always about enforcing rules or criticising them. Very few parents actually show respect for the kids’ needs and treat them as individuals.
There are five ways of showing respect for others. These are: listening to what the other person is saying, affirming to them, serving, kindness, and being polite and thankful.
Do you realise we don’t follow all these ways, but only some of them because we are in a hurry to speak rather than listen to the other individual? Research suggests that an overall happiness in life is closely related to how much one is respected and admired by those around them, and not to the status that comes from how much money you have stashed in your bank account.
Sure, making money is important, but only for a living, it’s not more important than love, care and respect for each other. Why do we respect only those who are rich or have top-notch jobs? We are just human beings, a dot from above (when seen from the surface of the earth) and we think of ourselves as very important people.
Everyone is struggling. Some succeed, some do not, but they continue to work hard to succeed. Nobody is any less, it’s just that we’re giving so much significance to status and money that we become oblivious to values that are to be followed for each and every person.
I have seen many documentaries that show that people who don’t fit in a perfect category, such as those who are fat, anorexic, poor, illiterate or too sensitive, are disrespected and treated like non-humans. However, it’s also shown that the same person you mocked is the only one who ends up helping you out with you realising it only later. That’s when you actually begin to respect them because they do something good for you!
Why do they have to earn that respect? Why can’t you just accept them the way they are and let them be? Unfortunately, it’s only idealistic to think that people will actually change their mindset. If only we could pass on this integral value to three or more people and in this way, form a chain, then some sort of real adjustment can take place.
To conclude, there is a quote by someone anonymous that goes: “If people respect you, respect them back, if they disrespect you, respect them back. They represent their ideology you represent yours.”