By Warren Lee Nair
When we are born, breathing and knowing when we are hungry come naturally. As we get older, other human instincts kick in such as the need to move around on our own, firstly by crawling and eventually walking with help from our parents. Lessons in basic speech soon follow and the very first topic parents cover is referring to them in a respectful manner as mum and dad (not by first names). All other lessons follow as we grow to produce what society can expect to be a morally sound, respectful individual who will add value to the community.
For most people, this is not true.
As we grow into adults, the teachings are forgotten and replaced with vanity, greed, pride and brushed-up egos. Human beings don’t suddenly forget how to walk or forage for food, but saying ‘hello’ or ‘thank you’ is the furthest thing from their minds in this fast-paced world.
I’m not saying that you should put every person you meet on a pedestal and it’s not about bringing yourself down; it’s about sharing the respect you have for yourself with others and receiving the same. Smile, shake hands, say ‘hello’ and show up on time, it’s as simple as that.
I was taught from a young age that I should give everyone the same amount of respect, be it a cleaner, cashier or business owner. This is a lesson that I have lived by for the better part of my life, but have only just come to realize how crucial it is. Showing respect to others will take you further in life than a big bank balance, artistic talent or any number of academic qualifications. Possessing good manners opens doors of success and helps to build solid, lifelong relationships as you will be sure to leave a good, lasting impression on whoever you interact with.
A positive attitude is contagious, so is a respectful one (both promote smiling which rub off on others as well). It’s a very unsettling feeling when you are being rude to someone who is being friendly and polite. More often than not, you will experience your own mood changing along with that of your attitude.
The facts are if you don’t respect your teachers, professors and trainers, you probably won’t learn enough to acquire a degree/qualification. No one enjoys working with a disrespectful employee (so good luck getting promoted). Having bad manners creates obstacles where there aren’t any to begin with and destroys relationships before they’re formed.
Mutual respect is key in life, in the workplace, even landing a job in the first place. It creates a positive and open atmosphere in the classroom; much can be learnt without rudeness getting in the way. It can strengthen the bonds within a community, help build good relations with religious or government leaders and also assist those in parliament in communicating more effectively, thus working better together.
Along with being respectful to the outside world and cultivating success in the process, let us not forget that it is our loved ones who deserve the most respect – parents, spouses, siblings, family – since they are where our home is, who were there before our successes, during our failures, who truly love and care for us.
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