Respect – Inez Knows
By Inez Lanns
Be respectful. Respect your elders. Respect your spouse. Respect your body. Respect yourself. These are common terms we hear throughout life, but do we know what respect really means? Once we get an understanding of what respect is do we know how to utilize it? According to dictionary.com, respect means “to hold in esteem or honor; to regard or to have consideration for; esteem a sense of worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability”. Well, that sounds easy enough, right?
I wish it were that simple. All around us we see teenage girls who do not have a sense of self-respect and young men that do not have a sense of regard for authority. Graffiti, theft and vandalism are constantly ruining the property of others displaying a lack of respect for another person’s property. What happened to the times where people would not dare use foul language around an older person? Or when young men wouldn’t just watch a woman walk by carrying heavy items and not offer to help? These are just a few examples, but the list goes on. How did this problem seem to multiply so quickly? As individuals do we consider ourselves as being respectful of those around us, and how are we actively teaching the next generation to esteem those within their sphere of life?
Let us be mindful of the example we set in our every day interactions. Do we demonstrate a respect for other people’s time by being on time? Too many a persons who keep others waiting or continuously reschedule commitments, show a lack of respect for others’ calendars or for those persons themselves. We need to be people of integrity, people of our word, because in all actuality our time really is our lives. When a person needs their space, one way to show respect is by willingly giving it to them without taking it personal.
Although we may have differences in thoughts, words or opinions, we can still respect the person in spite of our differences as people. We don’t have to argue, fight against them or attempt to bring them down, but allow them to say their word and actually have their own opinion. To respect your boss or those in authority is not a choice, it is a regard for their position that we uphold.
Remember others are watching, listening and formulating an opinion on who we are by how we speak about or engage with others. Even if you have good cause, don’t be disrespectful because those who are younger than you may choose to model that when they meet with others and have difficulties. Or even worse your attitude my lead to gossip, which could keep you from getting ahead.
Respect the dreams of others! If you are fortunate enough to have another person share his or her dreams with you, be considerate of that. It is a big deal. Do not tear them down or hate on them. It’s their dream, not yours, so respect that. It was placed in their heart or mind, not yours, so you don’t have to understand it. Think about how you can be an encourager, even if you’re not a contributor, in helping them reach success. Then when it is your turn, they may be the very person who helps to uplift you.
Some people find it hard to respect others because in reality they do not even respect themselves. All over the media we see children being disrespectful to their parents, men disrespecting women, women disrespecting men, people disrespecting all sorts of authority and lots of people disrespecting themselves! When a person does not value them self, they will easily disrespect others. If one does not see them self worthy of much, that lack of self-worth will allow them to accept disrespect from others. It is challenging to try and get someone who doesn’t respect them self to respect someone else. When we have positive regard for ourselves we treat ourselves well. We don’t allow people to walk over us. We honor our time and make sure that those around us do too. We understand respect, because we respect ourselves and therefore know what it takes to respect other people.
If you lack wisdom and understanding on how to begin to be a person of your word who has a healthy sense of self worth and shows consideration for others, where can you start? Begin to make conscious decisions at the individual level. Each person can do their part. First, make a decision to respect yourself – your time, your life, your body, your very being. You are a very special person, there is not another person exactly like you on this earth. Even twins do not share the same finger prints. Love yourself and see your value and worth. Don’t allow others to disrespect you – once you learn to respect yourself, you won’t accept disrespect. Respect others. I know that we often say that respect is earned and not given, but if you at least respect others as people, as human beings, the probability of receiving some respect back is much higher than if you approach them disrespectfully. In a nutshell, it goes back to the Golden Rule: Treat others the way that that you would like to be treated. If we each do our part, first respecting ourselves and then respecting others, we will set an example to our young people and can begin to see a positive, lasting change.
Inez Lanns was born and raised in Ventura County. She currently owns an Internet Marketing & Communications business called Inez Knows. She also writes on her blog on her web site: www.inezknows.com.