By Attiya Karodia
We like to rant about respect; it’s importance, and most of the time, we rant because we feel a lack of respect from someone or something around us. But how many times a day do we take into account how human we are, and how that also includes our general disrespect for the world and those we interact with on a daily basis?
I live in a country where class distinction is aggravated by racial tendencies and only further influenced by cliques within cliques, where choosing to take the train and a walk down to work is seen as a status slightly below middle class and being a pedestrian means that you have no rights and will be hooted at, sworn at or clipped by vehicles with entitled drivers – and it boils down to a lack of RESPECT.
Thanks to the Western Secularism which has shaped our societies, we are in a constant battle with the “us” and “them”, whether it is a matter of race, class or taste in music and through these habits, we condition ourselves to lose respect for the unfamiliar. What’s more is that we feel the need to display our respect so that the world can see it visible in the most tangible ways instead of expressing it in ways that will enrich our being.
We preach about self respect but disrespect our bodies by either eating too much or eating too little, so why not give your body what it needs, and also some of what it wants?
We preach about RESPECT from our partner, but we demand change, progression, attention and insignificant public gestures for everyone else to witness for the sake of show, and use our partners as trophies, so why not cut the Facebook relationship rant for a heart to heart with the person you love and show them that RESPECT is a two way street and you aren’t afraid to initiate it?
We say that we RESPECT the earth because we buy chic recycled (or as it’s now called, Upcycled) goods, but take hour long showers, litter and don’t care at all where our food comes from or how it’s processed. So why not learn a bit more about what you’re putting into the earth when you put it in your body?
Here’s one more question, why do we never talk about respecting the poor, but rather choose phrases like “be kind to the less fortunate”?
It sounds a bit Utopian to say, but the world is full of cycles of emotions and reactions, and it is a cycle which can be broken.
Be the person to break the cycle for the day and instead of projecting your bad day on a cashier, flash a genuine (or genuine looking) smile?