Are you Respectful ?-3

The moment we blame, complain or criticize another it is a sign we have temporarily destroyed our ability to be respectful. It means we are no longer able to see and affirm their innate goodness and inherent worth. We no longer esteem them as a person. Unfortunately this is precisely the ethos and the culture that is encouraged by our entertainment industries. The underlying message of many movies and video games is: ‘they’ are not worthy of respect; ‘they’ have wronged me so revenge is necessary; ‘they’ are behaving badly so punishment is essential; ‘they’ need to fear me more so that they will respect me more.

In one recent national newspaper front page, a well-known singer suffering from a drug addiction was headlined as ‘worthy of our scorn’. In some ways it seems to encapsulate a recent trend in our world where we look first for the slightest misdemeanor within another’s life in order to justify our judgmental attack and consequent withdrawal of respect for them.

Respect and Love
Once upon a time, probably in more innocent times, being respectful seemed to have been a natural ability that we all possessed. Today, it can seem like respecting others has become more like ‘hard work’, and in many contexts, just not the thing to do! When respect ceases to be the ‘natural currency of our relationships’, in any society or community, then the destination of that society does not look good.

Perhaps the attitude of disrespect begins when the teenager awakens to the truth and reality of their independence. They start to answer back and do increasingly individualistic and unconventional things. That’s the moment when parents are no longer ‘getting their way’. They believe they are starting to lose the control, which they don’t realize they didn’t have in the first place! They become objecting, judgmental, indignant, resentful, grumpy parents. In their own minds they begin to cast a negative light around the blossoming teenager and start to withdraw their respect. They may even reach a point when they say, “We love him, but we just don’t respect him”. Which of course is both a contradiction and impossible. If there is no respect there can be no love, and vice versa. In the process however, the teenager is learning ‘how to disrespect’ as they see it brilliantly role-modeled by the parent!

Little do most parents realize that in ‘trying to control’ the child over many years, they were not respecting the human being that was growing in their midst! They were not teaching the child, by example, the accurate meaning of respect.

The employee makes a couple of mistakes and the manager, who is afraid that it may reflect badly on him or her, starts to blame the employee and, as they do, they are withdrawing their respect from the relationship, therefore sabotaging the relationship. The relationship then easily descends into conflict, spreads to others, and the workplace becomes an unhappy place. Sound familiar?

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!


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