Respect is paramount to your self-image and respecting others.
My dad was a man of few words but great thoughts. He instilled this quote in me when I was a little boy. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Talk to people the way you want to be talked to. Respect is earned not given.

Throughout my life, I have tried my hardest to live by these words. They affected me immensely and I know that these words helped to mold me into the person I am today. I have always respected the choices of others be it in their ideas, thoughts or actions. After all, it is their choice and they are they ones that have to live with their choices. I can only attest to my own actions and thoughts and own them.

In today’s world, we are in a crisis due to the lack of respect! Period! I see it every day, kids talking back, acting out, parents trying to be friends to their kids instead of parents! Which includes disrespecting authority and any instruction on social skills. When a child is not taught to be respectful, their boundaries become blurred and distorted. What I mean by that is their perspective takes a turn to, I am more important than you are and therefore I am in control. It is about having power over others.

In contrast when respect is taught we learn to take in and digest the actions of others, consequently we learn from them. The benefits of learning respect are great when viewed as a tool to betterment. Peer pressure has a great influence on our actions in public and in small groups; the challenge for people is to have the strength of character and conviction to stand as an individual when peer pressure conflicts with their beliefs.

Here is a story about peer pressure and conflict. One day I was filling my car with fuel at a service station when I heard a commotion coming from the entrance of the convenience store. As the gentleman filing his car next to me and I turned, we saw a 12 or 13 year old little girl flip her skirt up and expose her buttocks to a group of boys about her same age. They were yelling for more and she continued to oblige them. The gentleman next to me looked at me and said, ” If that was my daughter I’d teach her a lesson.” My thought was sir, your daughter wouldn’t have done that because she already knows to respect herself. Now I know I have no way of knowing if he taught his daughter respect or not, but I suspect by his reaction he did. The point is as parents we much teach our children to respect themselves and others.

Respect is not just holding doors and being polite, it is a mindset that is developed with instruction and purpose. It takes time and effort to teach respect to our children. Today’s parents seem to be lacking in this area and should not depend on the school system to teach respect. We as a society must develop new ways to teach and instill the value of respect into our future generations. Without respect, there is no pattern for learning and growth. Respect starts with respecting yourself, which lays the foundation for all the positives life has to offer. When people are disrespectful there is no returned value to them or society in general. It is paramount that
we cure this problem or the demise of this nation will swell up and be devoured by chaos and confusion.

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