Life tip #15: Respect

Every time I write, see, think the word “respect”, I want to bust out in song (which, now that I’ve found the song to link here for this post, I’ll gladly listen to while writing this out). “R-E-S-P-E-C-T! Find out what it means to me!” Well, respect has a lot of meaning to me, and it’s not just about wanting others to respect me. I could probably write a whole essay about different ways and things to respect, but I’ll do my best to keep this fairly short. (Note: I didn’t do a very good job of this.)

This life tip came about because I remembered a time when I let a friend borrow a book of mine in elementary school and I was shocked when first she lost it and then when I helped her look for it, I found it with the cover crinkled in half with some kind of sticky spill on the cover. I know you’re supposed to share, but incidents like that (when they happen quite often) make you rethink freely sharing everything. ✔ Respect others’ belongings.

I’m even more shocked when I see how easily people dispose of and disrespect their own belongings. So often I’d visit a friend and would be handed a CD or DVD case and it would be completely destroyed. For someone who treated their magazines as something that shouldn’t even be bent, this was quite appalling. ✔ Respect your belongings.

Another great song that isn’t as well known is Respect Yourself by The Staple Singers. The song says it just right: if you don’t respect others, how in the world do you expect to get respect from others? On another level, so many people are their worst critic and bash themselves, their talents, their accomplishments time and time again. Follow the golden rule, be confident, give compliments and credit where it’s due, treat yourself and others to new and exciting experiences, and most importantly: love.  ✔ Respect yourself & others.

Don’t hate on your body, love it and give it what it deserves: delicious and healthy foods, exercise, dress it up in clothing and beauty products that aren’t harmful, keep it clean inside & out, feed it nice words and get rid of those negative thoughts. ✔ Respect your body.

It breaks my heart to see and read about the horrible things people do to animals. I don’t know when it became okay to hurt these beautiful and innocent creatures, but it needs to stop. I respect animals by being kind to them and acknowledging them when they are around me, not eating them, not wearing them, not harming or killing them, not supporting those who do, informing others of the harm that is done to them and how to help make it end. ✔ Respect animals.

I think I’m a bit odd because I enjoy cleaning up trash. Maybe it’s because it bothers me to see it in nature, I worry about an animal getting ahold of it and getting injured, or it just looks bad and I know it shouldn’t be there. This is another one of those shockers and when did it become okay times: littering. Throwing cups out of the window when driving? Tossing cigarettes on the ground? Leaving a park without cleaning up? Sorry, but whether there is someone whose job is to clean up a mess, this is your mess and says a lot about a person’s character. There is so much to go into respecting nature, but this topic could get a novel all on its own. ✔ Respect our land, air, waters.

Respect the world and all that is in it. My brother mentioned that I should write “respect beauty”, but I was worried that most of you would automatically picture a woman in a glossy magazine with “perfect” hair and make-up and that is not what my brother meant or what I want you to relate to beauty. The beauty my brother wanted to point out is architecture (he’s an architect): old buildings should be restored, not destroyed. Rather than making a box of a building, it should have character and beauty to it. This got me thinking about everything that is already in this world. Instead of throwing something away that is old, broken, faded, torn: fix it or make it beautiful once again. Always pick quality over quantity. ✔ Respect what is & will be here.

I’ve included a bunch of areas that need respect, but I’m sure there are a ton that I’ve missed. What would you like to add to the list?