As I look at news headlines, Facebook conversations and comments of news articles or blogs, I’m amazed. I go to the store and along the way see trash, and the rude way people are treated. I see kids backtalk elders and elders take it.
Do you respect yourself? Do you treat others with respect? What does that look like? I ask myself questions before posting or saying things publicly. It’s a checklist of sorts.
Will it benefit me? Of course we all need to find the benefits in life. There’s nothing wrong with that! It’s not difficult to stand up for yourself without disrespecting others.
Does it put someone else down to do so? If it benefits me great, but am I calling someone else horrible in doing so?
Is it something I’d want a grandparent, employer or parent to see? Would I want the pastor at church to hear or see it? My grandparents are gone, but I think of them often. I can imagine – but prefer not to – their reaction to the Miley Cyrus antics or the rude way so many folks act.
Is it an example I’d want to give to Connor or other minors that are watching? There are more youth watching us than we realize. Be it kids, or their friends, or the teens up the road.
If the answer to any of those is no, change the message.
Respect is big. We can’t trash our neighbor’s yard if we respect them. We don’t steal from them or take from them if we respect them. We don’t destroy property, backtalk or argue those we respect. And if we respect ourselves, we have a standard that we expect others will treat us with or not interact with us.
If we truly respect our partner, then verbal or physical abuse couldn’t happen. Cheating couldn’t happen.
If we truly respected others there’d be no theft, vandalism or lies.
What a ripple effect it could have.
Just with an eye towards respect. Actions of respect. Respecting ourselves and others.
We may not be able to change the world – but we can change the world we engage with. Respect. If you wouldn’t model it for your ancestors or children, don’t do it. If it’s something you know is wrong, don’t do it.
Make a difference in your world. Strive for respect every day.