Respect: Give it and you will earn it.

Intended as a short read just to get you to look at yourselves, look at those around you and share a little positivity.

So I saw this image on Google the other day and I thought to myself… nope. I totally disagree:

In today’s modern world, the interaction between people is quite possibly at an all time complexity. With the drastic developments and social changes that have taken place over the years, people’s values, morals and understanding of others are challenged. But one thing that exclusive to these changes should always exist is respect for one another.

They say that manners cost nothing. well for me, respect costs even less, in fact, respect costs a negative amount. That’s right, you actually earn it. Effortlessly. You should try it some time.

Everyone will have their own unique interpretation of what ‘respect’ is. And in an ironic circle, that’s what respect is all about, acknowledging the fact that everyone is unique and still seeing beyond the differences and having mutual feelings or level of care that is deeply buried within human nature.

Well, it should be buried in human nature. Unfortunately though the racists and homophobes etc do not share this likewise concept. So, back to defining respect. To me, respect is treating people how you would like to be treated.

Sounds simple yes? Then why is it so hard for people to put it into practice?

I may sound like a primary school teacher right now but it’s a really simple concept. If you respect other people, they will respect you back. Basically, don’t be a dick to others and like wise they won’t be a dick to you. And if they are a dick to you? Well you just have to rise above it. I can’t say it’s a feature that many are naturally drawn to.

In a way it’s almost like karma, what goes around, comes around. Respect follows the same cycle. This is usually the point where I would try to exemplify my point, calling upon a hypothetical or real life experience of my own. I was struggling but this is the best one I could come up with, true story:

In my second year of Uni I lived in some flats with a couple other guys. In this block of flats we were the only students. Everyone else was really, really old. And most were living alone. The old lady who lived at number 3 was always very blunt to me. If ever I saw her I always tried to say hello and wish her a good day etc. But all I got was grunts and muffled responses with that kind of gesture that says just leave me alone. I guess her biggest grudge towards me was whenever I was outside the flats training Freestyle Football. I can sympathise to an extent, it probably was a bit annoying just to hear ka dunk ka dunk ka dunk every 2 seconds. If their hearing still worked that is. And if I happened to see her in the building afterwards she always asked why I was doing it, couldn’t I do it somewhere else etc. My point is I clearly got the impression that she didn’t like me. Then randomly one day I was the only one in the flat, there was a knock at the door and it was her. She needed help setting up her kindle that she just bought. Now, at this moment I was really surprised that she asked me, it was totally out of the blue. I could have just set the record straight with her and made up and excuse to get out of it or just bluntly say no to her face in the cold way she had been treating me.
But you know what. I respect her.
I respect the fact that she wasn’t too stubborn to ask for help. I went and helped her set it up. It was super easy, she literally just didn’t know where to find the WiFi code on her router haha.
She was incredibly thankful, a side I was sure I would never see from her. And she even insisted on giving me something for my ‘less than 5 minutes troubles’. Not only by opting to put aside prior differences and help her, I earned her respect. And bagged myself some jaffa cakes. That was a nice gift from her.
And every other time I saw her she was really nice and friendly to me, she even didn’t mind me freestyling outside the flats and wished me luck for the UK championships when I left haha.

So from this story, whatever your preconceptions about a person may be, you don’t know what happens behind closed doors. And who are you to judge? Just do your best to respect them regardless and in turn, you may find yourself receiving it back. It literally cost me nothing in that story and I gained more.

In conclusion, I would just like to vouch for the approach that we accept individual differences. I believe the expression is:

“Don’t burn your bridges”

You never know how your respectful attitude may come back to do you a solid. Respect is something that is given and earned.

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