April 2008 216Giving esteem; honor; regard or consideration; showing courtesy or special acknowledgement.

Attack another’s rights and you destroy your own. John J Chapman  

Respect a man, he will do the more. James Howell

Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners. Laurence Sterne   

Our mothers taught us to respect our elders. Hopefully, we have taught our children to do the same. It is painfully obvious that there are too many who today have not learned the desirable quality of respecting others.

Being respected makes us feel good and appreciated. Showing respect to others is one example of responsible living. It is a small thing in so many ways, so very big in others. Many are caught up in “what’s in it for me”, “if it feels good, do it”, “my rights and my feelings” and other maligned attitudes. They are focused on “me” and oblivious to others.  They are too often in a big of a hurry and not sensitive to other’s feelings or needs. It is like, “I am in a hurry, get out of my way, you are unimportant or I will run over you”. Many people have forgotten or were never taught, “Yes Mam or No Mam”. Many use obscene gestures and profanities, cut in front of others, are rude and inconsiderate and do not know how to open a door for someone else. They are being disrespectful.

We are not responsible for other people’s actions. However, we are very responsible for our own. Many respected leaders, teachers and philosophers tell us that it is our relationships with others that is one of the most important thing in life. How we treat our families, friends, co-workers, and people in general is one of the most important things we do or will ever do. Respecting others is a very fundamental and important principle of successful living. When we fail to be respectful, we have fallen down from a higher plane of values, morals, ethics and the desirable side of our humanity, to the lower level and darker side of our inhumanity.

Being respectful is a form of giving and loving. We can only truly give of ourselves to others when we are loving and accepting of ourselves. If we are on solid footing: with good self image and self-respect, we do not get overly “bogged down with “me” issues or too much selfishness. It comes back to who we are, how we see ourselves, and what motivate us. When we are respectful of others, we are actually being respectful to ourselves. This bears restating! When we disrespectful others, we disrespect ourselves! We need to add more respect to life.

Challenge:  How would you rate your “respect” qualities? Can you identify how this correlates to your own self-image and self-respect? They go together. Respect others and you actually love and respect yourself. Look for opportunities to show respect. It is good for others, for the world we live in and especially to yourself. When you ignore opportunities to be respectful, you disrespect yourself. You are also disrespecting your mother!

Wisdom: The law is not the private property of lawyers, nor is justice the exclusive province of judges and juries. In the final analysis, true justice is not a matter of courts and law books, but of a commitment in each of us to liberty and mutual respect. Jimmy Carter.

Spiritual: (NIV)

Dear friends, since God so loved us, we ought to love one another. 1 John 4:11

For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation.  Psalm 149:4

He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.  Psalm 25:9

When we are disrespectful we disrespect God. If we look at Christ’s example, He was always concerned about the needs of others. Without love in our hearts, we cannot overcome the “me” syndrome.  We will find it hard to be kind and generous. The Golden Rule teaches doing unto others as we would have them do unto us. We cannot live by it without also respecting ourselves. Without God’s help, it is very difficult to practice the Golden Rule.

Prayer:  Help me to respectful, kind, and polite. Help me to help make the world a little better place to live.


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