To know one’s own worth and to honor the worth of others is the true way to earn respect. Respect is an acknowledgement of the inherent worth and innate rights of the individual and the collective. These must be recognized as the central focus to draw from people a commitment to a higher purpose in life.
Respect begins within the individual. The original state of respect is based on awareness of the self as a unique entity, a life force within, a spiritual being, a soul. The elevated consciousness of knowing “who I am” arises from an authentic place of pure worth. With such insight, there is faith in the self and wholeness and completeness within. With self-realization, one experiences true self-respect.
Conflict is initiated when the awareness of one’s original nature and the original nature of the other is lacking. As a result, external negative influences rule supreme over respect. To be stabilized in the elevated stage of the self can ensure genuine respect for and from others, since one acts in the consciousness that every human being has innate worth which is pure and virtuous. Such a mindset guarantees ultimate victory, since interaction on that basis assures that the inherent goodness of the self and the other emerges.
The beginning of all weakness is the absence of one word: self. When the word self is removed from self-respect, the void is filled by a variety of desires or expectations, each specifically designed to claim regard or respect from others. The individual, having become independent on external forces rather than internal powers, then measures respect by physical and material factors, such as caste, color, race, religion, sex, nationality, status and popularity. The more respect is measured on the basis of something external, the greater the desire for recognition from others. The greater the desire, the more one falls victim and loses respect – for the self and from others. If individuals renounced the desire of receiving regard and stabilized themselves in the elevated stage of self-respect, then regard would follow like a shadow.
To develop the value of respect within the self and to give it practical expression in daily life is the challenge. Obstacles are encountered to test the strength of respect, and these are often felt at the most vulnerable times. Self-confidence is needed to deal with circumstances in an optimistic, hopeful, and selfassured manner. In situations when all supports seem to have vanished, what remains loyal is the extent to which one has been able to become self-reliant internally.
The power of discernment establishes a respectful environment in which attention is paid to the quality of intentions, attitude, behavior, thoughts, words and actions. To the extent that there is the power of humility in respecting and the self – and the discernment and wisdom that affords in being just and fair to others – there will be success in the form of valuing individually, appreciating diversity, and taking the complete task into consideration. The balance of humility and self-respect results in selfless service, an honorable act, devoid of debilitating attitudes such as arrogance and narrowmindedness. Arrogance damages or destroys the uniqueness of others and violates their fundamental rights. Such a temperament hurts the violator as well. For example, the tendencies to impress, dominate, or limit the freedom of others are each done with the aim of asserting the self but at the expense of inner worth, dignity and peace of mind. Original respect becomes subservient to an artificial one.
Thus, attempting to win respect without remaining conscious of one’s original worth and honor becomes the very method to lose respect. To know one’s own worth and to honor the worth of others is the true way to earn respect. Since such a principle originates in that pristine place of pure worth, others instinctively sense authenticity and sincerity. In the vision and attitude of equality, there is shared spirituality. Sharing creates a sense of belonging, a feeling of family.
That sense of honor and worth can extend to nature’s family. To show disrespect and to work against the laws of nature is to cause ecological imbalance and natural calamities. When respect and reverence are extended to the eternal energy of matter, the elements will serve humanity with accuracy and abundance.
Respect is an acknowledgement of the inherent worth and innate rights of the individual and the collective. These must be recognized as the central focus to draw from people a commitment to ahigher purpose in life. International respect and recognition for intellectual rights and originality of ideas must be observed without discrimination. The eminence of life is present in everyone, and every human being has a right to the joy of living with respect and dignity.
Source: Prajapita Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University
Prajapita Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University is a socio-spiritual educational institution working for the establishment of a peaceful and virtuous society. The organisation imparts spiritual knowledge and teaches Rajayoga meditation that empowers a person with inner powers, divine virtues, developing a vision for the self and clarity in life. It is actively associated with the UN through its affiliation as an NGO. It has consultative status with ECOSOC and UNICEF. The UN has conferred it with seven peace messenger awards.
The Brahma Kumaris has a global presence with over 9000 meditation centres in 139 countries spread across all the continents, conducting Rajayoga sessions free of cost to anybody interested. The International Head Quarters is in Mt.Abu Rajasthan, India.