The way I see it, to be mindful of someone you need to show a certain degree of respect for them regardless of age, gender, race, etc. Respect does not equal being in agreement with everyone and everything they say. However, respect applies to one another's right to be happy and live their lives. If you ever wonder if you're correctly displaying this, ask yourself these questions:

1. Am I demonstrating ignorance?

I'm sure I don't need to tell you that we live on a pretty big planet, harboring an ever-growing population of seven billion people. We all come from different cultural backgrounds, which makes the world diverse and should be celebrated. Names and traditions common to other nations should not be shocking because they display an originality and a creativity that is uniquely human. So when you are confronted with something unfamiliar, instead of immediately judging it, try to understand it and find something about it that you like. You could even make some friends that way!

2. Is what I'm saying or doing necessary?

Sometimes we make fun of people for no real reason with no purpose to our actions or words. Next time you say something negative about someone, think to yourself: "Do I need to be saying this?" If you're saying it behind their back, the answer is likely no. If you're saying it to their face, think about whether it will just hurt them or whether it will actually help them fix their lives. And just to be clear, pointing out imperfections falls under the "Unnecessary" category because often those are uncontrollable. Pointing out someone's acne won't make it magically disappear, and will probably make the person feel overwhelmingly self-conscious.

Just saying.

3. Am I infringing on their right to be who they are?

This is an extremely important point similar to the fact that we come from different cultures. News flash: we also all have different personalities. Making someone feel bad about the things they are passionate about is disrespectful to their humanity and to the way that they were created. It drives me crazy when I hear comments about how "Weird" someone else's hobby is when a lot of times it's really just a display of originality. It's not wrong to be different, it's exciting. Treat people as such.

4. Am I making everything about me?

Finally, you have to put yourself in someone else's perspective. You could be saying, "Stop being dramatic" to someone who believes they have every right to make a big deal about their situation. You never want to make someone feel as if their struggles are insignificant. An example is the argument that other people have had it worse. Can we actually get people to stop saying that? You would never look at a person with one black eye asking for help and say "I have two black eyes so suck it up" because that does nothing to change the fact that the other person is suffering. Emotional stress is the same way, you just can't see it.

If you take the time to really think about these things, you could really make a difference. People tend to gravitate to those who understand them, and there's no way you can understand someone else if you make everything about you. So next time you say or do something someone else finds offensive, instead of immediately justifying go through the steps and see if you are being ignorant or prejudiced. We are equal but different, and we cannot coexist until we've all realized that and put it into practice.