Of all the qualities an individual can have, I believe respect to be one of the biggies. Compassion and a sense of right outweigh respect, but I think that without a healthy dose of respect, you can’t care for one another nor can you be expected to do the right thing. Respect for another person and respect for one’s self seem, to me at least, essential to being a happy person.
So where do you start? Respect others or resect yourself? I think having respect for yourself has to be first and foremost in any plan. I think that you need to understand your uniqueness and your irrefutable importance are what helps make the world go around. If it were not for you, or me, or your arch enemy, life just wouldn’t be the same.
And respect isn’t doled out in material items. You can’t get respect by driving a luxury sedan or having a 90 inch flat screen on your wall. In fact, I think that the more you show your good fortune, the less respect you probably have for yourself. Well, let me back up here a tick…have the Lexus and the giant TV, but respect yourself for working hard to get those things.
But I digress. Respect doesn’t depend on wealth. To have respect for yourself you need to understand that you are working towards being the best you can be. That you are not a failure even though you may have fallen down a few (dozen) times. It’s the getting back up part that counts after all.
And once you honestly learn that you are worth something, respect for your fellow man will follow. Once you understand that you have worth, you’ll see the worth in others. Neighbors who you thought were nosey are really just trying to get to know you…and okay a little nosey. Once you feel good about yourself, it’s easy to understand that we are all just trying to be happy in a place that often times can be very, very unhappy.
I think the final part in this whole respect thing would be that your own self-respect becomes contagious and soon people will be treating you with respect. They see a person who can hold their head high, relatively secure in the fact that they are a worthwhile piece of carbon doing the best they can. It’s kinda like “if it looks like a duck” theory…if it looks like something valuable, we will treat it accordingly.
You might be wondering if I practice what I preach and if I do in fact respect myself. The short answer is no. Elaborating, I’d have to say not yet, but it’s in my long term plan. I work on respect every day. And until then I’m just gonna fake it till I make it!
You’re a valuable person, own it!