Respect is one of the most valuable, if not the most important of all virtues that has been taught to us while growing up. Respect is always mutual and maintained at an eye level between two parties, not above and not below. We need to be looking at the eyes of the person with whom we are holding the conversation. This shows a sign of respect to the individual with whom we are holding that conversation and likewise, it need to be reciprocated by the other individual as well. It is also not one sided just like it needs to be in any relationship. Husband and wife need to respect one another, so does between teacher and student, between siblings, between friends etc etc. Sibling rivalry is also at an all time high especially when an Estate is involved. It all comes down to MONEY.
Age represents the stage of life in which we are living our life today. The most important aspect of aging which stands out is the word ‘Experience’ which is a collection of our successes, failures, adversities, memories and everything else we can think of.
We have been taught to respect our elders and likewise they earn their respect from us. At the same time, we will need to show our respects to our younger siblings as well and earn their respect in a reciprocal fashion. We must show our respects to everyone we meet. It’s the law of nature. What goes around comes back to us full circle. So respecting each other carries us a long way during our journey through life. We need to respect our family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and even strangers. Remember respect is mutual. It’s a give and take in any relationship. It can only work both ways. It’s also a way to earn trust in a relationship. Please and Thank you are two common gestures which has very significant importance in the business World. Holding a door for anyone is a sign of respect. Not slamming a door in someones face is another. Giving up a seat fore an elderly person or an expectant mother is another. These small deeds do not cost us a penny but it does make a huge difference in someone’s life. Factoring in all these tiny deeds times millions can make our World a very hospitable place to live in.
Respect is also an art form which seem to be fading out in the fog and fading very quickly. The culture in which we live is controlled to a major extent by materialism and stuff. So People have started loving products and using people to the greater detriment of Mankind. It’s only getting worse day by day. Today children get what ever they want and really fast in maybe less than an hour or in a few hours. This is instant gratification at work. Welcome to the World of online shopping. Back then things were very different. We were even considered very lucky if we ever got anything which we desired. Also we had great respect for our elders, our teachers, our neighbors and our friends. Literally everyone we met. Today this is non existent. In our society today, We find that the teacher is afraid of the student, the parents are afraid of their kids, and doctors are afraid of their patients. Is this how a society functions? What is wrong here and who is to blame?
Our culture is geared towards consumerism and leans heavily on it. And not on people’s character. Consumerism is the measure which is reflected in the GDP of any country. The Financial markets follow suit. Consumerism accounts for a third of the GDP of any country. The financial pulse of any country is also partly assessed using this metric. In life, if one gets anything very easily it is not appreciated. This is the nature of life itself. But if we work hard for it, sacrificing part of lives to pursue what we wish to accomplish in life , it tastes so sweet when we have it in out hands after many years of toil, blood, sweat and tears. Also this path makes us stronger and helps us face anything in life. The difference between the current and the previous generation within our population is huge and is growing in their separate direction by the minute. The more we consume, the further away we move from loved ones. At this point products, stuff, consumption and materialism matters most to the consumer. Family takes a back seat and are even neglected in the process. Respect diminishes rapidly and eventually vanishes. This is what we are seeing all over the World. Today a product is respected much more than a Human being. We are able to talk to a product these days so anything goes. A gadget can take orders and can execute it to fulfillment as we see in online shopping.
When respect in society diminishes or fails, it is a sign that we may fail big, if not bigger. The worse is yet to come. Respect is not a product or a demand, but it is a feeling for another Human being just like us and that feeling comes out from within us. It is completely natural. When this fails everything fails because at this juncture we are not Human. When respect stops, trust diminishes and then ultimately vanishes. Then It becomes detrimental to the people involved. We have been complicating our lives in unimaginable ways. Sometimes it’s good to step back, simplify ourselves and simply respecting everyone unconditionally. This takes disrespect out of the equation in an instant.
Online shopping is on the increase where as people involvement with each other has diminished considerably for the past few decades, so has the topic of respect . Machines have taken over our lives. Today we Gadgets being worshiped and is given much more respect than a Human. Many are addicted to their gadgets. Health issues have arisen from our bad behavior and unhealthy habits. Mental health issues are an all time high in our societies. Malls and their parking lots are always full to capacity. We spend more time shopping than spending time with another Human being whether it is a family, a friend or any person for that matter. It can even be volunteering at a senior center or at a food bank. This may even help us learn priorities in life.
We respect our parents for all the sacrifices they have borne on our behalf including bringing us into this World and contributing to our growth and success and for continuing to nurture us even though we have grown taller than them physically.But we will always be their children thousand years from now. We see ongoing cases of elder abuse in nursing homes, hospitals, homes and in other institutions which are in the business of caring for this group of our population. But we are letting it happen. We do not want to take care of our parents who are in their second childhood. They also feel insecure, scared, and vulnerable. To top it off putting them in a strange place such as in a nursing home takes away their dignity, respect and everything else that they have worked throughout their lives for. In the end they feel abandoned, not cared for, not fed properly and jailed in a room with strangers who pretend to care for them and in the process get abused. Kids have their own lives to heed to so they look the other way.
One day, it will be our turn too to be in their shoes. Guess how we will be treated by our own kids. Any guesses?