I came across the following thread sometime ago. Doesn’t it make a lot of sense?
The Oxford dictionary definitions for Respect (in the context I propose to talk now) are the following:
1. Feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
2. Regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.
Right from our childhood, we are taught about the former than latter.
Beta uncle ko pranam karo bade haina, Dadi ke pair chuo, Badonse zabaan mat lagao etc etc.,
I am sure most of us have heard this at many points in time in our childhood. Why is respect talked about only this way? ~ is something that amuses me!
The second meaning of the word in question which is “Regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others” should be the one associated with the said word more often than not.
Why doesn’t a two year old deserve the same respect as an 80 year old? Why do you have to give respect to a Prime Minister and not a chaiwallah? Why does a boss deserve more respect than an employee ?
From my understanding, it comes from a deep sense of authority most people develop right from childhood. I have had this for a long time in my life and only recently have I started realising that I am nothing but a tiny speck in this universe. My travels constantly reinforce this idea in me and more so when I am in the presence of Nature.
Human life is precious with immense potential to better yourself everyday. One hindrance to such growth will definitely be this sense of authority.
Unless you live gently and compassionately, there is no meaning in anything you do no matter how many accolades you win or how much money you earn or how much ever you serve the society.
Yes, I include the serving society part as I have been in the social sector for 4 years now and I have seen people showing a certain entitlement for respect just for doing what they are doing and in turn show authority on the so called lives they are uplifting.
I urge you all to think twice the next time you disregard someone as to why you did so. In this day and age where everyone either run after money or fame or this false entitlement of respect, I urge you to stop and think if you are being gentle and compassionate every time you speak to someone or not.
I will leave you with one of these modern quotes credited to Buddha
In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
Peace and Happiness to all of you.