“Respect others as you want to be respected” : “Behave better when with others, so they want you back”.
I grew up listening to these two phrases from my parents and grandparents, and I held onto them and passed them to my children. Today, my two babies are in their teens, my son 17 years old going into his senior year and my daughter is 15 years old going into her sophomore year. While both of my children are polar opposites in how they handle situations, I am beginning to see many similarities transforming from seeds that were planted years ago. One being, respect: both giving and receiving.
My son recently participated in fundraising for his school soccer team, both times he had to leave the event early in order to be at work on time. At the end of each event I received a text from the adult spearheading the function of how hard working and respectful he was. The most recent text specifically stated that he was the most respectful teenager they had been around. As any parent would, my heart felt awesome and I smiled with maybe a tear or two! It truly made my heart happy to know that even with so much worldly influence at his fingertips, he had not forgotten the art of being respectful, especially when I am not around!
Interesting enough in the same evening, my daughter and I had a great conversation about showing respect and joy to a person that may need it. She began to tell me how every day she travels the halls of school to a specific water fountain, due to cleanliness, to fill her water bottle and each day she encounters a janitor monitoring the hallways and bathrooms. While not many words have been exchanged between the janitor and my daughter, she states the janitors demeanor is very rude and she is scared she will speak to her in a judgmental way. After listening, I told my daughter that while gaining her personal opinion of the janitor and how she may speak to her was normal, it too was also building judgement against her without truth. I then reminded her that on a daily basis she most likely deals with rude and disrespectful teenagers and all she may need is someone to say “hello”, “good morning”, or even ask how her day is going. Simply put, she may need some joy! My daughter began to smile, “I can be that teenager that brings her joy!” I smiled and hugged her and told her, “Always remember to give respect, no matter how hard it will be, a simply smile, hello, thank you or please can change a person’s demeanor and heart instantly. You never know the impact you can have on someone until it’s done, so ensure the impact is a positive one.”
Now, let me say that I am far from a perfect parent, in fact I do not want to be ‘perfect’. And my teensagers, well, they are not always ‘joyful’ (laugh) but it is times like these that remind me I did something right in raising them.
The world today has changed so much from 20 – 30 years ago, where respect wasn’t taught, it was learned from day one. If you disrespected anyone, talked back, or dressed inappropriately, you mostly like me, got your butt handed to you. I am who I am because of the discipline instilled in me, my kids are who they are because the discipline instilled in them.
Understanding the art of respect is not hard, it is not a theory that needs a degree to understand. Respect is a simple action that can have a beautiful result. Treat those as you want to be treated, if you do not like ugliness or disrespect then why show it to others? If joy is something you have a lot of, then share it with others, bless them, in hopes that they too with bless others; create the domino effect!
This post is no more than words and opinions from one mom to another..reminding us all how we should treat everyone, everyday, in hopes that one day our Father can tell us, “Job well done, my good and faithful servant!”