Respect (礼 rei).
What is respect?
Respect is esteem for, or a sense of the worth or excellence of, a person, a personal quality, ability, or a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.
Respect should be one of the easiest things have/show/give. If we live with the understanding that we are each created in the likeness and image of God, then we would naturally treat each other as if they were God. Piece of cake!
Of course, it is never that easy. Modern society seems to make every effort to show that respect must be earned. We live in a "what have you done for me lately" world. Many people allow this attitude to pervert their relationship with God. They say, "Look at this crappy life I have. God has forgotten about me, so I am not going to have anything to do with Him." They are obviously very self-centered.
Respect cannot be demanded. Respect has to be given freely - to everyone.
God loves us. God knows us. He wants us to love him. This is what the Catechism teaches us:
Of all visible creatures only man is able to know and love his creator. He is the only creature on earth that God has willed for its own sake, and he alone is called to share, by knowledge and love, in God's own life. It was for this end that he was created, and this is the fundamental reason for his dignity… God created everything for man, but man in turn was created to serve and love God and to offer all creation back to him.
We are created to serve and love God. This is at the core of our nature. It should be a piece of cake. It can be if we work at it.
Once we realize that everyone else is made in the image and likeness of God, respect will be freely given and received - and this world will be a much better place.
A PRAYER FOR THE VIRTUE OF RESPECT
|I genuflect before You Honorable Jesus, Respecting Your Will, Plan and Judgment! You overcame earthly evil emptations, Maintaining Self-respect to the end. Jesus, You are my code of conduct; I strive to comply with Your precepts. Teach me all I need to know about respect, Its mastery being my long-term objective. May this include learning to listen, Allowing others to share their opinions. May my respect towards other humans Truly reflect Your love towards all!|