Benefits from Just a Little Respect

Reading Level: Leisurely

Your own life and the lives of others are greatly enhanced when you choose to daily show the people you meet just a little respect.

Making a difference in the world — in the lives of all the people with whom you come in contact in a day – is not difficult to achieve. Everyone appreciates being shown a simple kindness, such as being treated with respect. It does not take any extra effort on your part, just a decision to live by the golden rule, “Do to others as you would have them do to you (Lk. 6:31).” In other words, these simple words of Jesus give us a life guideline of treating people with the respect with which we ourselves desire to be treated. Most people will appreciate it; a few will not. But it is still well worth it to give people a gift that everyone inwardly desires and, hence, meet a basic human need. You, personally, cannot solve all the problems of humanity. Yet you can meet the innate daily human need for respect in those with whom you come in contact.

“Show proper respect to everyone.”

This is a quote from 1 Peter 2:17. You may not know the person at all to know if they are worthy of respect in the various aspects of his or her lifestyle, but in your daily business and community contacts, “proper respect” is responding to the fact that the person is a human being with the basic need of being shown respect. The Greek word for “respect” in this quote is timao, meaning to “fix value upon, to be peaceable, to show respect to people in general (Strong’s Dictionary of New Testament Words).” General respect, just showing a little bit of respect for the fact that they are a human being who needs it, is valuable in and of itself.

Another quote says, “Encourage one another daily (Heb. 3:13).”

The Greek word here, parakaleo, means to “give comfort or exhortation (Strong’s Dictionary of New Testament Words).” You can show simple respect by being an encourager. defines encourage as “cheer, praise, advocate, inspire, motivate, perk up, show favor, smile upon, support, strengthen.

As I go through the day, whether it is with cashiers, clerks, bank tellers, waiters, neighbors whose paths I cross, or in business phone conversations, I make sure to tell everyone to have a good day. Why? Because I want a good day, so I speak that blessing on others. They want a good day, too, even if they haven’t consciously thought about it. I make an effort to compliment those who are cheerful, as it is a rare quality. I thank those who are quick and efficient at their job, giving them credit for their efforts. If a teenager has a complex hairstyle, I’ll compliment him or her on it.

The responsive smiles are reward enough, but I know what I am doing goes deeper.

Many people do not have a good core of loving people in their lives who daily show them any respect. Or, even if they have a good core of family and friends, many people are not even treated with respect as a person on the job by their employers.

No, none of us can meet all the needs of the world, but you can make a difference in the lives of everyone you meet each day.

Show a little respect; encourage or compliment them. Meet their basic human need for respect and both you, and the world with whom you rub shoulders, will feel the benefits!

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