January 22    

Today's quotation:

Be respectful to others as you grow. . . If we lack respect for one group, then there is a tendency for that attitude to spread.  It becomes infectious and no one becomes safe from the ravages of prejudice.

Walter Annenberg

Today's Meditation:

It's almost unbelievable how quickly prejudice and lack of respect can spread.  I never want to be a person who doesn't respect the lives and views and beliefs of other people, for I've come to learn that theirs are just as valid as mine are.  The fact that someone disagrees with me does not mean that they're wrong and I'm right--and I must always respect views that were born in different cultures among different people living different realities.

Having respect for others doesn't mean that you have to adopt their beliefs or live life in their way.  It doesn't mean that you invalidate your own feelings or thoughts.  It simply means that you recognize that we all come from different places, different families, different cultures, and different traditions, and someone who disagrees with me isn't necessarily a threat to me or my way of life.

A lack of respect for others shows itself in our lives as a lack of learning and growth in our own lives.  We cannot learn from anyone whom we don't respect, and there's so much to learn from people who have been brought up in different worlds than us.  If we show prejudice towards any group or groups, then we're showing the world one of the limitations of our own minds and lives, and it's not a pretty thing to be showing around.

If we want there to be peace in this world, if we want love and compassion to spread, if we want people to get along with one another and help each other out as a matter of course, then there must be respect among and between all the groups that we've come to differentiate based on skin color, origin, language, religion, etc.  We must be the bearers of respect if we want to contribute to the peace, love, and compassion of the world.

Questions to consider:

How are we taught to justify a lack of respect towards others?

What kinds of things might you do to show the respect that you have for others on a regular basis?

Why is respect so often lacking between people of different groups?  How much of it has to do with the past rather than the present moment?

For further thought:

Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect.  We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.

U. Thant

more on respect



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