Respect is the acknowledgement of another person’s dignity through simple verbal and nonverbal actions. It’s the ability to reserve judgment and be honest with oneself and an adherence to value a different opinion. The recognition of a special quality is also a form of respect. Everyone has an innate desire to be respected, especially by those that are loved or admired.
One of the nicest things about respect is that it can be demonstrated in many different ways. Depending on the situation, respect can take different shapes and isn’t always a “one size fits all” approach. Words like, “thank you,” “I appreciate…,” “yes ma’am/sir, “ are the most basic verbal forms of showing respect. Holding a door, smiling, making eye contact and paying attention are easy non-verbal forms of showing respect.
But the biggest benefit of showing respect is earning it in return. To be respected feels great because, thankfully, for most people it feels good to respect one another. Paying respect adds value to a relationship. Good friends are valuable in large part because of the mutual respect that exists between the parties.
Whether respect manifests itself in the form of a high five, a simple smile or listening intently, it is contagious. It’s the duty of everyone to spread it to one another in order to foster a platform on which anyone can have a voice and know that at the very least, it will be respected.
Brent Lampl teaches middle school Spanish in Dallas, TX. He has been married for over 17 years and is the proud father of a son and daughter. Aside from family, he enjoys music, the outdoors and things with wheels.