“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery” – Malcolm X

“Mal, people who don’t respect others, don’t respect themselves” – I took these words away with my last night. The ending to a wonderful conversation with two gentlemen who waiter at my favourite pub. We were having a conversation about certain regulars who enjoyed throwing their weight around and I was horrified at some of the stories.

I have a great admiration for those who work within service, and now that my path has taken me to public service… it has increased even more. There is a calling that comes with being of service to someone – whether you are a parent, a waiter or a minister in government.

It got me thinking – what do I respect and how do I show it.

When I was screaming the most unseemly things at our soccer match yesterday, I surprised myself. I didn’t cross the line, but I could if I wanted to. I wouldn’t say I was respectful to my parents, but compared to what I observed in other families my parents were getting it easy.

Then theres all this talk about respect needing to be earned, that you aren’t entitled to it. But I read somewhere that when someone earns your respect, you don’t really respect them at all as a human being, but rather their talent or achievements.

Respect is very important to me – for selfish reasons obviously. As a matter of pride I want to be treated well, but also to be seen as a good (reasonably) person. But more than that I respect myself a lot and I think through finding that self-love, I found more of an ability to love others.

Now that I write this I know it is true. I’m loving easier. Forgiving and letting things go more freely. Communicating better.

Before I get too preachy – who do you respect, why and how do you show it?

“Love of others is the appreciation of one’s self. May your egotism be so gigantic that you comprise mankind in your self-sympathy.” – Mina Loy


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