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Respect Is A Two-Way Street: If You Want To Get It, You’ve Got To Give It


Respect. We all want to get it. Yet, it doesn’t always come naturally to us to give it.

Why is that? Tell me, why do we as humans believe that it is up to us to decide who deserves respect and who doesn’t? Why do we think that some people do not deserve the respected and some do?

You want to know what I think?

I think that respect is learned behavior.

In my opinion, respect is a genuine and deep admiration for another individual. It has everything to do with who they are as a person, what their values, achievements,  abilities, and qualities are. But respect is not only that. It goes much deeper. To respect someone means to care about their feelings, to take their opinions into consideration, to allow them to enjoy their rights, and to acknowledge their traditions. It is being able to open your heart and understand even the things that seem irrational or strange to you. To embrace diversity and to encourage people’s differences. To agree to disagree. To not take someone’s opinion too personal. To be a human being.

Now, that is respect to me. It is a golden rule that each and every single one of us has to follow if we want to make this world a better place for all of us.

You must go through many experiences in life to understand the golden rule. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is something you learn as you grow. Something you either accept as a way of life or reject it completely.

And when you do finally accept it and start practicing it actively, wonderful things happen.

Suddenly, the world is different than what it used to be. It’s warmer, safer more vibrant, more beautiful, more pleasurable. It gives you hope of a better tomorrow, it opens doors to you, it faces you with new opportunities. But most of all, it changes you as a person.

The way I see, it, every person deserves respect, despite what most people think. Every living being, every soul deserves to be acknowledged and accepted. Even those who do not respect you in return. For giving respect to someone has nothing to do with who they are. It is about you. About who you are as a person. About what your soul carries how much love and acceptance you have inside your beautiful heart. It’s about how big of a person you are.

So, I say… Treat others the way you want to be treated, but don’t disrespect anyone. Even those who have no respect for you. Their disrespect is not a validation of your worth, it is a sign of their character.

Stephanie Reeds