Treating Others with Respect as a Form of Self-Love…
We are currently living through an era where there is too much division among people. Hate crimes and racial injustice has been an inflamed source of harm and hurt done among people in our current times. Political indifference, an unwillingness to cross the aisle to bridge divides, and dishonoring the value of others is too pervasive.
These are large, yet important issues that need to be addressed; everyone can play a part in the reversal of these turbulent times. It can start in our own backyards with the way we treat others around us. If we can show a little respect and kindness to others, it can go a long way.
The Golden Rule
Many may have grown up learning the Golden Rule: "treat others as one wants to be treated." Although this may have religious overtones, it holds an ethical and moral standard that takes all of humanity into consideration.
If you want to be treated with kindness and respect, then you must treat others in the same way. It is a practice of moral reciprocity. It is hard to expect others to respect and value you and your opinions if you do not show that same respect for others. This is the dilemma that we face today.
Empathy Towards Others
It is important to also note that, yes, we are all unique. We come from different backgrounds, cultures, and religions. We all have our unique and different life experiences. These are the characteristics that make each individual special. But underneath it all, we are the same. We all breathe, we bleed red when we are cut, and we all have emotions. This is what we need to remember in order to relate more positively to one another.
Although our skin color may be different, we can still relate to the fact that we cry when we are hurt, have suffered loss in our lives, and can celebrate with joy and laughter when we have successes. You may not completely understand what it's like to walk in the shoes of another person and fully understand their life journey. But what you can do is empathize with the emotions they experience while on that journey: joy, fear, stress, love.
Because of these resemblances, we can begin to see each other more as similar than different. Imagine looking in the mirror and viewing your own reflection. It is not too different when you look at other people; we can see others as a reflection of ourselves. When we treat others with kindness, for example, it is a reflection of how we treat and love ourselves. By virtue of lending a hand to a neighbor or friend, you are also providing respect and service to yourself.
A Reflection of Self-Love
As you encounter individuals that may look or behave differently from you, it is important to pause before making quick judgments. Before highlighting your political differences or devaluing your gender differences or socioeconomic status, remember that you are looking in a mirror. The outer reflection may have different properties, but the inner reflection is the key to the Golden Rule.
Remember that you are looking at yourself. If you then treat that other self with kindness, love, and appreciation, you are practicing a form of self-love. That is the bottom line. Even with the overwhelming sense of division in the world today, we can do our part with our friends, family, neighbors, AND strangers by showing love and respect. Practice the Golden Rule and feel the healing power of Self-Love resonate.