R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Or, as Rodney Dangerfield was famous for getting, “No respect!”

There is not a lot of this around anymore. Yes, there are people we respect. People who have done great things or accomplished more than most. The respect I am referring to is between people in general. We don’t give respect much. We tend to make people earn it. Rarely is respect extended to someone we don’t know who is not famous.

Just go to the grocery store or the mall and see people annoyed with everyone around them. In so many situations in life we see people around us as objects, obstacles, or a means to an end. We don’t see them as people. People with needs. People with feelings. People with hurts. People with potential.

No, we are too focused on ourselves and too busy with our agendas at the moment to see someone as a person in the moment.

What would happen if we started giving respect freely? What if we saw those around us each as a person, an individual worthy of attention?

In the blockbuster movie “Avatar” the Na’vi greeted one another by saying “I see you.” This signified an identification with, a common ground, respect.

The Bible says we are to love our neighbor as our self (Matthew 22:39). Much has been written and expounded upon exactly who is our neighbor. Jesus Himself gave us the famous story of the Good Samaritan. In short, our “neighbor” is every person we come in contact with each day.

Whatever a person thinks of as the definition and application of “love”, none of it can begin without respect. It starts there.

In order to respect someone, we must see them as a person: an individual loved by God. If we were to start doing that, some things would change.

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