Respect is given…

“Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.”

U Thant

What does “respect others” mean for you? Have you defined this in an active and intentional manner so you can ensure your behaviors live up to your internal definition?

There is an old cliche which says “respect is earned, not given.” I would argue the exact opposite to be true. Instead of waiting for someone else to pay homage to you, because of role, title or station, embrace the opportunity to demonstrate genuine care and appreciation for others by giving and showing respect to and for who they are as a person. It might not be returned, but if it isn’t then how are you any worse for having chosen to embrace an attitude of care and consideration?

In my reflection and research for this post I looked up the definition of respect in the dictionary and these two definitions really stood out to me:

First – Respect“esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.”Respect given…

Second – Respect – “deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment.”Respect demanded…

Based on these two definitions my choice will always be to live in a manner that demonstrates, through behavior, the first definition. Focusing on the second definition is an exercise in ego and selfishness…

Interestingly enough, I have found, time and time again, by living a life focused on giving respect, you actually receive it back many times over. In so many ways the second definition becomes a result of how you choose to treat those around you.Quite simply, if one chooses to live a life that is focused on a “respect is earned” mentality then it is all about you.

If you expect respect, without first having given it, you will always be disappointed. But if you give respect first, without any strings attached, then you are living a life focused on how you treat others, not what you get in return…

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