Respect is essential to all the world’s religions and is universally seen as a building block to a more human and humane world. The term respect comes from the Latin word respicere, which means the willingness to look again, take a second look rather than remain stuck in a particular view. There are many who claim that we are leaking the precious fuel of respect all around us. When elders are not respected, the stream of wisdom is diminished. When we disrespect our bodies, illness is the result. When people’s rights are not respected, violence erupts. When nature, animals, places and even things are treated as disposable objects to be cast aside after they are used, chaos ensues. Respect is a counter to a culture of nastiness in which decency and civility are brushed aside.
Spirituality and Practice
May I treat all the living and nonliving with respect.
Observe how you treat others even those to whom you are not particularly drawn. What are your feelings about certain groups of people? Is your language both verbal and nonverbal respectful? How do you treat nonhuman animals?
So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
I know to love is to respect. And reverence is the nature of my love.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Respect for ourselves guides our morals, respect for others guides our manners.
There is no respect for others without humility in one’s self.
Henri Frederic Amiel
Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.
If we lose love and respect for each other, this is how we finally die.
I have no right, by anything I do or say, to demean a human being in his own eyes. What matters is not what I think of him; it is what he thinks of himself. To undermine a man’s self-respect is a sin.
Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Tolerance only for those who agree with you is no tolerance at all.