Respect. A word we often hear and use. "Be respectful of others." "Show some respect." But what does it actually mean? According to Oxford Dictionary, respect means "due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others," with synonyms such as "courtesy" and "politeness" listed. Respect is a value that most people consider to be important; however, sometimes it seems as if there is a significant lack of respect in the world. My parents taught me to always respect others and be polite, but sometimes it seems as if people do not share this same value of being courteous towards others. It's important that we all be respectful towards one another, even if it can be tough at times.
We all know what the "golden rule" is: "Treat others how you want to be treated." But how often do we actually do this? Sometimes it seems as if people let their own feelings, wants, and needs get in the way of how others feel. While everyone is selfish to a degree, this is no reason to disrespect others. Think about the things you do sometimes when you are just focused on yourself. You may be the person who leaves a mess in a public restroom because it's someone else's job to clean it up. Or maybe you're the person who doesn't bother greeting the cashier back at the grocery store because you are in a bad mood. By doing these seemingly small actions, you are being disrespectful. Sure, it may be someone's job to clean it up, but think about how you would want to be treated. Would you want to clean up a huge mess as a janitor that could've easily been prevented had someone shown a little more care? Would you want to cheerfully greet someone only to get a glare in return? In my experience as a cashier, this is never a pleasant thing. While these things may seem minor, they are disrespectful and could easily make others irritated. Nobody likes to be put in a bad mood due to the rude actions of others. Yes, you may be having the worst day ever and it may be difficult to be considerate to others, but just by making a conscious effort to do so you will be respectful to those around you. You may even put yourself in a better mood by being polite and seeing others smile or express gratitude.
While those actions may be more unintentional acts of disrespect caused by a lack of awareness of how others feel, some people are intentionally disrespectful. It's unfortunate knowing that people are purposely rude to others. Why do they do this? Who knows? Maybe they think it's funny. Maybe they just don't like the person. But there is no excuse for consciously being disrespectful to other people. Even if you don't like someone, there is a way to be cordial and just show common courtesy. Ways that I've observed people being purposely disrespectful are through bullying, lying, or ignoring how someone else feels. Most of us have probably witnessed or experienced at least one of these things. Maybe you have even done one of these things. Yet again, this "golden rule" comes into play. Think about it. You wouldn't want to go through any of these situations yourself, so why put others through them? It isn't right to purposely treat others poorly just because, for whatever reason, you are unable to give them the courtesy that you expect to receive from others.
Nobody is perfect. We all mess up, so it is impossible to be respectful all the time. Just keeping a conscious effort to be mindful of others, though, will help to make a difference in how we all treat one another. While the "golden rule" may seem silly and is probably something we all had drilled into our brains during elementary school, it really is key to helping us all respect one another. Keep the "golden rule" in mind and try your best to treat others with respect always.