In recent times, it would seem that a proper understanding of respect has diminished. It has gotten misplaced for too many reasons to list in this short post. However, I will boldly state that we need to restore respect.
The burden of living this virtue lies with the individual. Do I live in a manner that engenders respect from others? How do I interact with my peers, colleagues, employer, children, parents? It gradually turns the tide when we treat others as we want to be treated. This is challenging when people readily dismiss, ridicule, or jeer at you. Trust me, to walk in a mall these days is not always a pleasant experience for a religious Sister. I can’t even imagine what our brave police officers experience daily.
As I said, the burden of engendering respect rests with me even when a group of young people laughs at me or if a car drives quickly past me when I’m jogging down the muddy road. I have to live this virtue even in these situations and respond with a smile or ignore their actions, or perhaps if it is appropriate, try to ask a question to discover why they may be laughing.
Yes, it does matter that we strive to restore this virtue. We need to teach the next generation to do unto others what they want done to them — to move outside their world and walk in the skin of those around them. And those of us who know better need to make sure our actions call forth the respect which is our due — which is everyone’s due. Let us restore respect!