I am amazed by the number of people who don’t understand this word at all. Sometimes I am horrified by how many terrible people there are in the world. And then I realise that the most awful things ever said or done are so because of lack of respect. Some people don’t understand respect; they only understand fear. It is the way they’ve been taught to live, to be, to treat, to gain and give power. Here’s my attempt to define it again….
Kindness without respect is pity.
Generosity without respect is charity.
Teaching without respect is showing off.
Protecting without respect is an ego trip.
Chivalry without respect is just a stereotype.
Appreciating beauty without respect is just plain leching.
Compliments minus respect are flattery.
Responsibility without respect is a burden.
Love without respect is neediness.
‘Space’ without respect is indifference.
Caring without respect is not caring at all.
I want nothing that’s given without respect. And if I ever give you something without respect, please throw it right back on my face. Respect is a two-way street after all. And a way of life.
It permeates every aspect of life, every human interaction, every feeling, every conversation, every relationship. I see it as recognition. Of another life form. I see it as empathy and understanding and acceptance and appreciation. I see the power that can be snatched and lost. Then I see power that radiates from within and its source is always…RESPECT.
This is something I’ve wanted to say for a long, long time. And I haven’t. Because I didn’t respect myself enough to voice such a basic thought. And I didn’t respect you enough to have the patience or intelligence to listen.