The Principle Of Respect

Respect Ethics Honest Integrity Signpost Meaning Good Qualities
Respect Ethics Honest Integrity Signpost Meaning Good Qualities

We learned about gratitude and humility- that so many people had a hand in our success, from the teachers who inspired us to the janitors who kept our school clean… and we were taught to value everyone’s contribution and treat everyone with respect.
-Michelle Obama

Relationships have a huge impact on our lives. How people treat you and how you treat them is important.

Respect is the glue that holds relationships together. It is treating people with kindness, politeness and love regardless of their social standing, religion, political status, age, economic status or gender.

Treating people with disrespect can severely damage relationships. Don’t treat anyone in a way that embarrasses them. Don’t treat people as if they were pieces of stone without feelings. They are human beings who deserve to be treated with dignity.

Showing respect to people can help them see their self-worth and potential. When you respect people it is a sign that you have respect for yourself

The importance of respect cannot be underestimated. Helen Keller wrote: “A severely impaired person never knows his hidden strength until he is treated like a normal human being and encouraged to try to shape his own life. Annie Sullivan regarded the blind as human beings endowed with rights to education, recreation, and employment, and she strove to arrange my life accordingly. Teacher believed in me, and I resolved not to betray her faith.” That is what the power of respect can do.

To further demonstrate the power of respect, German philosopher Von Goeth said: “Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be. I always enjoy accounts of seemingly “average” individuals whose lives sparkle and blossom as a result of someone taking an interest in them and treating them with respect.”

Respect helps the individual to nurture personal power. It builds self-confidence, a vital tool for getting things done and attaining success.

It is unfortunate respect is fast declining in our society. We find situations where employees disrespect those in authority, children not respecting their parents, women or men not respecting their spouse, people not respecting others who are not of their own stock to mention but a few.

We should respect people the way we want them to respect us. When people respect us we feel safe in their presence. However be cautioned! Some people can fake their respect. They may have a sinister motive behind the respect shown. Be circumspect and do not give a chance to people with deceitful tricks under the veil of respect to do you harm.

We should aim at building healthy, respectful relationships because it can affect us in many ways including our well-being and mental health. Being respectful to others means you accept them for who they are. When you see their potential, values and worth, they will see it in their own life.

We have about 7 billion people on our planet. There is racial and cultural diversity.

At the community level we have people of different cultures, aspirations and values living together. There will always be people who are therefore different from you. You may not always agree with them on certain issues. Be tolerant of their views, opinions, values and aspirations. Don’t scream at people because you disagree with them. Be tactful when communicating with other people. Always respect individual differences. Robert Frost made the following profound statement: “All men are born free and equal-free at least in their right to be different. Some people want to homogenize society everywhere. I’m against the homogenizers in art, in politics, in every walk of life. I want the cream to rise.”

Respect comes in many forms. “One of the greatest forms of respect we can extend to another is friendship. Friendship accepts people for who they are and stands by them in difficult moments.” Friends are people who value and appreciate each other and are willing to die for each other.

A friend will help you nurture the qualities that you admire in him. He is the one who lends his unalloyed support to you on your success journey. He sees your mistakes and helps you to correct them. He shares his success stories with you, his experiences, needs and wants in a calmly manner. He does not impose his views on others. Friends should celebrate their differences not necessarily their similarities. Having a trusted friend in your life can make the difference.

We all have black spots in our life. Keep secret when these stories are shared with you. Don’t divulge secrets that are personal to somebody to unauthorized people. Respect their privacy.
Gossip can destroy relationships. It means making uncomplimentary remarks about somebody in their absence. A Turkish proverb says, “who gossips to you will gossip of you.” A person who respects you will not gossip about you. You don’t have to gossip because you may say things about somebody that are not true.

You show respect when you help another who is genuinely in need of your help. For instance helping a blind person to cross the road.

You show respect when you place the interests and needs of others above your own. Listen to their requests, needs and wants and respond in a timely manner. You can also communicate your needs and wants to others in a respectful way.

We can get along with others and make our earth a bit like heaven if we form the habit of respecting everyone we meet in our life. Here is a quote from Kirk Cameron that says it all: “It is my goal to love everyone. I hate no one. Regardless of their race, religion, their proclivities, the desire of their heart and how they want to live their life and the decisions that they make. I can even respect people’s lifestyle choices just as I hope they have the courtesy to respect my decisions and choices.” By building healthy respectful relationships, you can propel your life forward and achieve success. Respecting people will help them bring out the best in you.


Yours in inspiration,
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