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What's respect?

What's respect?

Treat others as they want to be treated or as you would like to be treated yourself?

We are all different in so many ways that what's desirable, pleasurable and respectful for one might be the absolute opposite for someone else.

Most of us were raised to treat others as we wished to be treated ourselves.

The principle is well intended, based on high moral values of respect and kindness. But we all know that sometimes, well intended, good human beings (us included) can hurt, invade and disrespect.

We often carry a fantasy that differences are cultural or regional, but once we look at why we can't treat others as fixed objects, we see even beyond upbringing and personality. In our own culture, within our own family, we can be tremendously disrespected. Although unintentionally and often unaware of it, we continue to treat others without truly asking how others want to be treated. We assume our own sense of a norm and without conscious awareness of what is real and present for those in front of us, we just carry on with what we know, most of the time out of habit and nothing else.

A simple hug can be the most warming loving welcome as it can be the most invasive, threatening experience. Even though we all believe we are respectful, everyday we treat others in ways that are not felt that way. Stop, notice, ask, and be the respectful person you want to be.

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