To Whom It May Concern:
Hello, It's me again. Just one person talking to another from the heart. I would like to talk about respect. We all want respect, I know I do. I have realized that in order to receive respect, I must first give it. Most people believe that your representation begins with how you look. It is true to a point. But I believe your representation truly begins when you open your mouth. The manner in which you speak to people, your reaction to them, and how you present yourself often creates their response to you. Does this mean you have to be college educated? Education is worthwhile, but having a college degree will not give anyone instant respect or credibility. Respect stems from your character - who you are when no one is looking.
Like everyone else, I have preconceived notions about others and tend to stereotype them, the same is done to me. Often we absorb and react to the emotions and body language of others. If I feel uncomfortable with myself, others will feel uncomfortable with me as well. If I present myself with respectful confidence, others seem to want to embrace me because they feel more comfortable with me, although sometimes they have to get past their preconceived notions. This comes with time. I have encountered many people who at first seemed to be uncomfortable with me. But after spending some time with them we became quite close, because I showed them through my words and actions that I was respectful, had credibility, and actually had some things in common with them. There are some people who won't change their minds about me, no matter how much respect I give them. Should I then disrespect them? No. I put them in a safe place by remaining respectful and immediately moving on.
I can only experience true freedom when I give my fellow man respect. If I am respecting others, I am not hurting them or their families. I am not taking from them what is not mine. I am trying to lift them up so we can all succeed. I am only entitled to the fruit of my labor. I have worked three jobs at one time in the past to provide for my family. I did this because I respect family and want to provide for mine, and I respect others and do not want to take from them. When I disrespect others, I end up in harm' s way; then I can't provide for my family and be productive in society.
Respect begins at home with your family. Your parents, your spouse, your children, your significant other - they all need to be respected in order for them to remain in a productive state of mind. I think we sometimes disrespect others because we think they are going to disrespect us first. I think this state of mind comes from a feeling of inferiority. As Eleanor Roosevelt said so eloquently, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission." These are just my experiences. If I have reached the heart of just one person, I will feel I have been of some worth today. I am not judging anyone, so please do not judge me.
Your humble servant