Respect is one of the values that is a gift to yourself and a gift to other people. We often say that we need more forgiveness, more patience, more understanding in our culture, in our society, in our schools or in our workplace. But the first thing you have to do, in order to make this happen, is to respect yourself.
The best way to do this is to realize that you are a gift. You are a gift from God. You are very valuable. You have skills and talents. You have resources that can help mankind grow and be a better resource on this earth.
You respect other people by understanding their differences. I’m not talking about comparing yourself to someone else, because if you catch yourself comparing yourself to others, then there will always be someone better than you and someone worse. That is not respect.
People with high self-respect can be around other people that are better than they are, because they can acknowledge their differences without sacrificing their own self-respect. They can acknowledge that the other person has skills and strengths they aspire to. They can accept that. They can understand that there are differences in the world and there are people who have different skills, talents, looks, personalities, values and backgrounds.
Respect yourself enough to say, “I am different from other people,” rather than always trying to fit in. If you don’t respect people, then you won’t seek out the differences. You won’t seek out their strengths. You’ll look for their weaknesses, because you want to make sure that you are better than they are.
That is where cultures break down. That is where societies break down. That is where neighborhoods break down. Respect is saying, “I appreciate, I acknowledge, I accept and I value our differences. What can I learn from you?”