If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.
– Maya Angelou
Respect has very little to do with solemnity or formality. True respect inhabits each one of our thoughts and actions. It is also impossible to respect others without first respecting ourselves.
How many times do we ask that our opinions are respected, yet fail to respect the opinions of others? How many occasions have we failed to respect the laws and traditions of a country we visit (or live in), and yet we make demands that our rights as foreigners are respected? Those questions might make us uncomfortable – but we need to ask them, and we need to answer them with all honesty.
Respect implies love. This is the most beautiful aspect of being respectful: we can transcend any difference and any personal judgment we might have; and find it in us to love those who don’t agree with us. When we interact with others with respect, we are acting from love – and this the most powerful kind of interaction we can have.
How do you respect others? Send me your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.