The philosopher Plato once said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” I think to understand respect is to appreciate these powerful words of Plato.
Respect is an important ingredient in the definition of one’s character.
Together with traits such as courage, forgiveness, compassion, cooperation, and empathy, our character defines who we are and how we interact with family, friends, colleagues, and strangers. Respect does not come freely, it must be earned.
You gain the respect of others by being courteous and respectful yourself.
Respect is understanding that most people have good intentions even if their principles are different than yours. Respect means making choices with the future of the affected group in mind and taking responsibility for your actions and decisions and not blaming others.
Respect is looking for the best characteristics in others and not the faults. Respect is doing to others as you would have them do to you.
Respect is appreciating and believing in your spouse and family members, your boss, your co-workers, your friends, neighbors, and authorities such as police and other public professionals for the roles and responsibilities they embrace every day. When we give our attention, support, and cooperation to these individuals, we respect them.
We work hard to make them look good because we are humble. We have goodness in our hearts. We are respectful — we are respected.
©Wally Beddoe, 2010