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According to the dictionary definition respect is defined as due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. It further explains that there are synonyms that are associated with respect including consideration, thoughtfulness, and attentiveness. Respect means to recognize the worth of a person. It means enthusiastic appreciation, and often deep affection for a people or persons. It is amazing to me that no matter what creed, color, or race, we have ALL been created in the image of God.

From the time I was a child I have been taught to respect my elders. I was taught to speak up when you are spoken to, not to butt into “grown folks” conversations and never to address adults by their first names. When asked a question by adults the response was yes sir, no sir and yes ma’am, no ma’am. We were taught to raise your hand in the classroom if you wanted to give a response and only give the response when you were specifically called upon by the teacher.

If you were waiting in a line, you waited your turn and you did not cut the line as that was considered rude and disrespectful. Children were not allowed to use profanity. That was something that the adults did and even then, they were selective in when and where they cussed! When a child was caught cussing the threat was that they would get their mouth washed out with soap and water. I was appalled when watching a television program and a child was cussing up a storm and the parent just accepted it as normal because they were upset.

My husband and I were privileged to have lunch this past weekend with two of our grandchildren and our daughter. When we were getting up from the table to go to the food selection my 15-year-old grandson grabbed me by the hand to help me up and out of my seat. I was so shocked that it left me speechless. I did not make a big deal out of it and just thanked him. He had no idea that his seemingly simple gesture made me feel so respected and loved and appreciated. It warmed my heart.

Respect is not a thing of the past and we need it now more than ever. We need to be mindful that children will follow our lead. It is not okay to be inconsiderate, selfish, and indifferent. We have got to do something to stop the disrespect and it must begin in our own homes. We must cultivate no cuss zones in our homes and please and thank you must become the norm. We have got to teach our children the importance of respect and how to show it. Disrespect is not cute. Being dismissive is not acceptable and bullying is appalling!

Respect the Lord, respect yourself and respect others. Now that is the word for today!

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