Respect is something you earn but it should also be something that we give to everyone we meet. Well until they give us reason not too of course. If someone doesn’t give you the respect you deserve then quite frankly fuck them. But that is beside the point of this post, so i will leave it right here.
So this week’s post is all about Respect. You know “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me”. Yeah i know you were all singing with me right then, don’t deny it. Honestly if you actually heard me singing this though, your ears would be bleeding so count yourselves lucky. RIP Aretha you were an incredible talent, i however am not.
But no seriously why am i talking about respect of all things? Because if i’m being honest it feels like it has been completely lost in this generation. 2018 (and probably 2019 will too) has left me feeling a little frustrated with how the world behaves. I mean it’s 2019 for god sake. But even still we are all so guilty of focusing on our own lives and existing inside of our own little life bubble. That we truly aren’t aware of the impact this loss of respect is having around us.
The more i see peoples treatment of strangers, new acquaintances and even friends on a daily basis the more i lose a little more faith in Humanity. There are so many awful things that happen in this world. We really need to be respectful of each other, especially our elders. As we all start to see our lives becoming more and more busy, we begin to become so wrapped up in ourselves. By becoming even more self serving we end up shutting ourselves off from the world. That’s not healthy for us nor is it helpful to others.
Respect is in ingrained in us from an early age
When i was a little girl i was always taught to respect my peers and my elders. Whether that be to give them your full attention and actually listen to what they are telling you. Or even if it was just talking to them in a respectful way and to not backchat them. Hell even at 27 going on 28 nothing has changed. Society may have but my values haven’t.
Everyone has a set of life values that our parents have ingrained in us from birth. These very values are the basis of our moral compass and also dictate our behaviour. Through our life experiences we build upon these values over our lifetime, we even start to develop a set of our very own. But in this ever changing environment that we are now living in, this can impact the strength of those values.
And in a world where we can be more easily influenced than ever before. It has become increasingly more difficult to hold onto some of our personal values rather than to follow the crowd. Sometimes it’s the more important values that we lose along the way. That is why it is so important for us to be mindful of how our actions and choices impact those around us.
How we perceive the World is changing
No matter where you live in the world, all we hear about at the moment is that we are in a perpetual state of doom and gloom. Whether it’s the sheer amount of violent and domestic crimes happening in our cities/town’s. Or the ongoing political palaver that is playing out in most governments across the world. Its pretty depressing and begs the question why are times so bad?
I guess it feels that way because nowadays every problem big or small is a news story. A news story for all of us to see on the array of platforms available to us. As a result we do literally know the in’s and out’s of a duck’s arse. That wasn’t the case before Social media. But as it becomes a major player in our lives, we are more aware than ever of everything that is going on around us. Overall it’s a pretty miserable state of affairs. But one thing is for certain, in all of these problems we read about. Those involved behave like they have some next level superiority and show a blatant disregard for other peoples lives. The bottom line is we should be teaching our kids and those around us to show some respect not their “superiority” to others.
An example of this comes when I was recently scrolling through facebook and I came across a post from a young woman named Adele Barbaro. I’m not going to lie, the post drew me in and spat me out practically in tears. Every single word was true and hit me right in the feels. That was the point and that is the very reason this post went viral. If you haven’t already seen the post here it is below:
Twice this week, I have watched an elderly individual, fade into the busy life in which we all live. One man just needed Panadol for his wife but the shop assistant simply said it’s in ‘6’. But he struggled to navigate the supermarket and as I watched him go in the wrong direction, I left all my groceries and took him where he needed to go.
Today, I watched an elderly man struggle in the heat, who had obviously had a fall with a huge scrape and blood on his leg. He walked past people in the cafe, while he slowly made his way to his car. Not one person stopped. Or looked. Or acknowledged him. I took him to his car and checked he was ok. He told me he had a fall and wasn’t sure how the air con worked in his car so he just didn’t use it. I sat with him, until his air con kicked in and heard him talk about the old frail body that he is in, that fails him now, every single day.
When you see an elderly person walking down the street, searching in the supermarket or struggling to their car, take a minute out of your busy schedule and ask them if they need a hand. Think about your grand parents and your parents and how pissed you would be if someone didn’t stop to help them. But more, think of them as you.
Once upon a time they were you. They were busy, they had work, they had children, they were able…. Today, they are just in an older body that is not going as fast as it used to and this busy life is fucking confusing. They deserve our utmost respect and consideration. One day it will be you, it will be us. I wish more people gave a shit about them and acknowledged them for their admirable existence and geez I hope someday, not that far away, someone does it for me.
Now the whole post was powerful. So damn powerful but sickeningly true. We have lost our compassion and respect for one another. The amount of respect we show to others especially the elderly in recent years is practically non existent. And that is so sad because those are the people who actually deserve that compassion and respect from us the most. The things they have seen or experienced throughout their lifetime would shock most of us to our core. Yet they came out the other side with an open mind and a healthy respect for the world and humanity.
That very generation that sacrificed so much for all we have today; our freedom, the very rights and values that our societies stand upon today. And the god’s honest truth is, that generation would give you their last penny if it was what you needed. They are so selfless its admirable. But we throw all of that away like it’s such a meaningless thing. I don’t know what went wrong or at what point in time things changed but honestly when did it become ok to treat people like this? Yes we are all busy going about our lives in this ultra busy world we now live in but respect is such a small thing to give to every person we meet.
Put Yourself in someone else’s shoes
These people are someones parent, grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle or partner. More than ever we are constantly judging and showing contempt for other’s. Whether that is based on their appearance, their failures, their achievements or even their opinions. The beauty of life is that everyone experiences different things. If we all shared the same experiences then we would be carbon copies of one another. On top of that nothing would change in the world and opinions would not exist. All of those things are what makes us unique. I mean c’mon you wouldn’t cut off one of your friends or start hating on her because she hates Peanut Butter and you think Peanut Butter is life. Ok thats completely different but you get where i’m going with this.
The point i’m trying to make is we need to concentrate on showing each other more love and less hate. There is so much we can learn from keeping an open mind and it keeps us neutral. We need to be building each other up instead of tearing each other down. Everyone you cross paths with is special to someone and we shouldn’t forget that.
Show Respect and reap the rewards
Maybe it is an elderly lady who is struggling to carry their groceries from the supermarket. Maybe you feel that she is in your way or walking too slow. Rather than grumble about it show some compassion. Respect the fact that she was just like you once, young and more able bodied. But now her body doesn’t work as it used to and yet she is trying to go about her life. Just like you are except its harder for her. All it would take is a second out of your day to help her get to her car or maybe to her home. If she was your nan you would want to know someone showed them some respect and compassion to help them out in a time of need.
Or maybe there is a new mother who is struggling to juggle her newborn baby and her shopping. Maybe she is trying but failing to get both the groceries and her pram onto a bus (we only have so many hands). Yes maybe you feel it is taking too long and you’re in a hurry to get home to your family.
But rather than tut and sigh about it, lend a helping hand. Respect the fact she is trying to juggle a newborn baby whilst attempting to live her life as normal. Maybe you’ve already been there, if not just remember that will also be you one day. Trying to navigate motherhood without a clue in the world. Motherhood is a learning curve, you learn as you go and it is a really big change. Having to care for a tiny little human when before you only had to take care of yourself, is hard. But really it would only take a couple of minutes to help her lift the buggy onto a bus and then you would be on your way. Swings and roundabout ay?
Just remember it only takes a few minutes of your time to help someone who is struggling but it gives you a rewarding feeling for the rest of the day.
Be the change you want to see
2019 is an incredible time to be alive, there are so many amazing things happening on our little old planet:
Technology has become so advanced, we are on the verge of so many groundbreaking concepts such as Artificial intelligence and self driving cars.
Cures for cancer and other life ending ailments are in their advanced stages that one day we may actually kick their arses once and for all.
Awareness of our planet is at the forefront of most of the things we do. We are moving away from plastics (buh-bye Plastic straws, Hello cute little paper one). We are also stepping away from products that contain palm oil. Thanks Iceland for showing us the way.
There are so many things to be excited for and this is just the beginning. We should be developing alongside them not regressing into the 1900’s.
So what can we do? If each of us just takes a step back and tries to work on being more respectful, it really can have a profound effect. Yes it may not change the world but its a small change that helps everyone around us. It’s so important to keep an open mind and to not judge someone based on what you see. As they say “don’t judge a book by its cover” Most people will surprise you.
If we just take the time to be a little more mindful of others then the world really would be a much more beautiful place. And wouldn’t that be the most amazing place to live? Let me know in the comments below.