The other day I was thinking about respect.
It seems to me that all of us cry out like Aretha Franklin, "R.E.S.P.E.C.T" We want and try to demand respect from others. How do you cultivate it? How do you demonstrate it?
Nothing is worse than to feel that you have been blown off by someone who completely dismisses your ideas, your work, or even you. Regardless of one's opinions, values or beliefs, we still crave respect from all, even from those who don't espouse our opinions, values or beliefs.
I was also thinking about people who feel they are entitled to anything as long as it is more, better or greater than to what you may be entitled. Not that they are completely rude like Mr. Bean but the people who think that they are entitled to get ahead of you- merging into single construction lane on the highway, queuing up at the grocery store, seeing the doctor, even standing in line at an entertainment venue. They are the people who feel that they are entitled to having others jump through hoops for them and that they are entitled to say whatever comes to mind without having to worry about any consequence. Their actions demonstrate lack of respect for those around them.
I think both respect and the entitlement mindset should be governed by manners.
Not in the seemingly senseless white glove, pinky in the air, tea sipping manners of people with way too much time on their hands.
Manners in the true sense of why we have them: to think of others before we think of ourselves, to be gracious and kind, to treat others with respect and not to feel entitled over someone else, to provide human kind with a raised bar and standard so that we are elevated over animals.
In treating someone kindly and with manners we say more about our character than anything else. It shows self-control by putting others first or holding our tongues. It shows kindness through thoughtfulness. It shows graciousness, when we do not let on that things have not gone the way we planned.
What about you? Do you feel respected by those around you? Why is that? Are you surrounded by "entitled" people? How do you treat them? How do they treat you? How are your manners? How can you show respect to someone today? How can you brush up on your manners?
Pollyanna that I am, I do believe that when we treat others well, when we expect more from them than they might feel capable of in the moment, then we will have a society that respects one another.
Sock it to me Aretha!