Truism Twelve: Respect Everyone
Respect people. It has been said that respect must be earned. That is rather like saying the suspect of a crime should prove his or her innocence. While this requirement is often enforced in legal systems, it is not what most systems of law say they require. Guilt must be proven. Innocence is assumed.
Everyone deserves respect, no matter if it has been earned or not. When someone fails to show respect to you, you still should respect that person. Sinking to the person’s level shows that the person has won. The idea is very closely tied with the concept of forgiveness. Forgiving is often difficult, but it is the first step in your recovery from the wrong the person has done to you.
Sometimes, you will find it impossible to respect some people, but at least try to exercise empathy. Try to see from their persepctives. Try to understand why they act as they do.
The first people you likely will feel disrespect for are your parents. It is difficult to understand why they so apparently disrespectful of you–your wants and your needs. Some parents are awful people. Some parents have bad days. Some parents need lessons in being good parents. But, most parents at least try to teach, and because they disagree with what you think is a want or a need, only seem to disrespect you. Most parents want the best for their children. Most parents would give their lives for you to succeed, which is an ultimate form of respect for another person. There is usually 15 to 40 years difference between you and your parents. By the time you fully understand and appreciate them, they may be gone. Respect them blindly, just as you love them blindly.