Instill Respect

Instill Respect

When we think of respect, sometimes we think of it as a quality we earn by actions, or stature. This is a different “worldly” respect. We respect a doctor who undertook years of training and now has the knowledge and power to heal us. We respect a teacher who after years of training, now has the knowledge and power to enlighten young minds. This kind of stature may be deserving of a respect if it is justly attained and practiced, but our worldly stature should be secondary to our stature as humans. We must learn to respect every human first and foremost simply because they are human.

If I truly respect you as human, how could I say steal from you. I couldn’t, because I respect your rights too much. If I truly respect your religious beliefs, how could I suppose to change you? I couldn’t . If an employer truly respects their workers, how could they pay them anything less than a fair, equitable wage. If we truly respect our environment and all of us that rely on it, how could we harm and pollute it? If we truly respect your humanity, how could we hate others who are different?

Not only must we respect others, but we must respect ourselves too. God created us for better things than we sometimes allow to happen to us. When others treat us with disrespect, if we have acted morally, we have the right to demand that respect of others, in a non-violent way.

The most important way we can bring true respect into the world though is to teach it to our children, primarily by modeling it, but also by instructing and training them. When we share in God’s creative ability and help bring a new life into this world, we must honor that responsibility as the most sacred of our lives. Our collective moral fiber will only improve if we improve it from generation to generation. We must suppress our own worst tendencies and prejudices and teach our children from the best in us a parents, and from the best fiber of our faiths.

Allow the bad in our society to die a little more with each new generation by passing along only what we hold collectively to be good.

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