Heart, Soul and Mind

RESPECT – Tell me what it means to you?

May 27, 2014

What is Respect? Wikipedia says:

“Respect is a positive feeling of esteem or deference for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., “I have great respect for her judgment”). It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect. Rude conduct is usually considered to indicate a lack of respect, disrespect, whereas actions that honor somebody or something indicate respect.”

Our modern world has changed in so many ways. Have we lost respect for others as well as ourselves as we do things that are accepted socially?

Let me share some food-for-thought with you:

  1. How do you treat the Elderly?
  2. Do you respond to invitations?
  3. Do you agree to attend an event and then just not pitch up?
  4. When you agree to do something, are you committed and follow through?
  5. Do you say “Please” and “Thank You”?
  6. Do you jump queues?
  7. Are you constantly focused on your mobile phone even when you are with friends or family?
  8. Do you litter?
  9. Are you polite?
  10. Are you ungrateful?
  11. Do you hold the door for someone behind you?
  12. Do you swear?

The new research from Ipsos MORI shows more than nine in 10 British people are irritated by queue jumpers (91%), people dropping litter (93%), urinating, vomiting or spitting in public (96%), people either not giving up a seat to an elderly/pregnant person on a train/bus (91%) or not saying please, thank you or sorry (92%).

Other behaviours are found irritating by at least three-quarters of the public: obscene gesturing by drivers (76%), swearing in public (83%), using mobile phones in public without consideration for others (74%), or impatience and subsequent rudeness in public (83%).

Ben Page, Chairman of the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute said:

“Despite much hand wringing over the collapse of manners in modern society, our research suggests that most people – of whatever age – find disrespect and bad manners irritating. Our research suggests that people are keen to see a change – and most of those who admit doing these things say they find it offensive when others do!”

Whilst the majority of British people say they are irritated by disrespectful behaviour, many admit to it doing it themselves.

Interesting, Right?

So where does it start?

It starts in the home. It starts with parents. It is not the schools responsibility to teach respect and manners, instead they are there to support our efforts and how do children learn best? By example!

James from JamesNava.com said:

We tend to blame the younger generation for these rude behaviors, but the truth is that the situation is degrading all ages and levels of society. So much that now it is commonplace to see couples openly insulting each other in public and treating each other with absolutely no common courtesy (a sliding scale which leads directly to physical and verbal abuse). Just as unfortunate, and equally common is disrespectful and dishonest treatment between colleagues in the business world, who fall back on tricks, half-truths and crude vocabulary to make ends meet. And then, to add insult to injury, these issues are left to be resolved by enormous and costly governmental programs, that can do nothing when facing this irreversible deterioration of personal relationships without the involvement and commitment of everyday people in their everyday lives.

He goes on to say:

It’s time for a return to common courtesy and polite speech; time for the reappearance of “good morning” , “how are you?” and “please” and “thank you.” Giving up your seat to an older person or a pregnant women shouldn’t be the exception, but should be the rule. Modern tendencies towards friendlier business relationships, as well as increased openness, and warmth in relationships in general are fine and good, but these new tendencies shouldn’t supersede, but rather should accompany traditions of courtesy and good manners in all interactions be they at work or at home.

We often look at how we can change the world, I believe we can change the world by the small things. We can change the world by teaching manners and respect in our homes and sharing it with our communities.

I am far from perfect in this regard and I think many times we are disrespectful in trying to assert our rights (which are often overlooked) or when we are disrespected but I do believe if we can change ourselves, we can change the world!

The following quote is attributed to Socrates:

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

Disrespect is not a new thing, no, but how far it goes depends on us as communities and what we are willing to accept.

Respect, like manners, is practiced and over time we can improve and be better than we were yesterday.

What are your thoughts? Share them below!

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