I keep this picture of Mother Theresa and I can’t remember where I saw it first but it keeps me in check about the meaning of true love. Also I have learned about respect for fellow human beings from her. If you have never read her background, google her story and it will astonish you of her dedication to serving others. I thought about the word respect and thought I would share some of my feelings about respect with all of you.
I come from a different generation than most of my readers but not all so some of you will remember having some of the same memories. I am not advocating a return to the world I grew up in but a few of those life philosophies could be revived to create a better world of respect and harmony. Before I visit my childhood, I found an excerpt about Respect for the Parent which is based on Respect for Themselves.
When you earn your children’s respect, they also learn to respect themselves. Respect is so important because, without it, children can’t value themselves or others. Children who don’t respect themselves are more likely to drink alcohol, take drugs, have sex, and treat others badly. Children who lack self-respect simply don’t care about themselves or anyone else.
Children who have self-respect treat themselves well. They’re less likely to do harmful things, they make good choices, and they tend to act in ways that are in their own best interests. The benefits of teaching the value of respect early include children who:
- Are happier, more successful, and have healthier relationships.
- Are unselfish, considerate, caring, and generous.
- Respect you and other influential adults.
- Honor reasonable boundaries placed on them.
- Are more likely to trust you and abide by your directives.
Contrary to the assertions of popular culture, when you act like parents you engender healthy respect, encourage caring relationships, and foster their positive development.
Be the Parent
Popular culture tells you that to be a good parent, you should be friends with your children. You should hang out with them, tell them anything, and treat them as equals. But when you’re friends with your children, you actually detract from the strength of your relationship and surrender your influence over them. When you become friends with your children, you give up your unique relationship with them because they have many friends, but they have only two (hopefully) parents.
Now, back to the good ole days which were filled with fun and laughter, tears and fears, but also with a lot of respect to parents, family, neighbors, friends, traditions and conditions. Oh yes, there was discipline if disrespect was shown. It was usually quick and probably without much thought given. It worked off the theory, that it only takes one time if you put your hand on a hot stove to teach you not to touch it again. No, our parents didn’t stick our hands on hot stove but they worked up some heat on our rear ends. You, as a parent, can make the decision whether or not you will use discipline or not…..not my circus! What I can say, is whatever you say as a response to disrespect will forever implant the future actions of your children. If it is nothing but a verbal reprimand or time out or however you deem “respectful” of your child’s action, mean it and claim it. Do not be indecisive; be firm but respectful.
I have made it a practice as I am sure many of you have practiced the same thing; I do not call a child stupid or even an adult. They may, and I may, do stupid things but to say someone is stupid is an insult to those mentally challenged and their actions out of their control. The person or even yourself can control our actions, words, and/or responses. We have the mental capacity to exercise R-E-S-P-E-C-T when interacting with others, both children and adults.
To prevent hate is not to exercise hate. Who do we ever think we are in life that we can exercise disrespect for another human being? If someone is down on their luck, unhappy, unhealthy, or any other state of life, show respect and compassion. Count your blessings that you have been spared of this discomfort. In other words, Put A Little Love in Your Heart as the song says.