Every human on earth will agree with the biblical sentiment “do un to others as you would have done to you…”. It is a great ‘Golden rule’ for navigating life. Treat other people exactly how we wish to be treated.
The best way to let other people know how we wish to be treated is to lead by example. Demanding respect never works. If we demand respect, other folks may pretend to respect us, but respect has to come from the heart. Respect does not originate in the brain.
If we wish to be respected by others, we must act in ways that makes them feel gratitude. We must treat them in ways that makes them feel dignity, equality and higher self worth. Oppressing others is the quickest way i know to lose their respect. Small acts that demonstrate our appreciation for another are very productive.
Years ago as a youth soccer and lacrosse coach i learned early on that kids/people do not hear even productive criticism without first feeling respected. You wont have much success making suggestions to a player on how they can improve their game unless you have offered notice of all of the things that they have done well previously. If i go out of my way to let little Johnny know when he played well, or made a good decision on the field, or that i noticed his extra effort as i see those things, he will be very open to receiving insight from me when i see ways he might improve his game.
Manners go a long way. If i go out to a restaurant to have a meal, and i go out of my way to smile at and treat the server with manners and acknowledge them as a human being, they will react positively. We all would. Small gestures can make the server feel appreciated in n otherwise thankless job. It always amazes me how a few small gestures can change a persons attitude. Asking a cashier I how their day is going. Smiling and nodding at a person passing by. Making other people feel equal is a huge gesture in a society where selfishness is mainstream.
It may not seem like it at times, but every human is dong the best they can with what they have. When we are born, we each have perfect nature. At birth none of us knows anger, or greed, or bigotry. We are not born with any comprehension of selfishness or violence. We are born with only love and pure intentions. All of the negative and selfish behaviors are learned. We are taught those ‘qualities’ by society and by people around us. So, we have the power to teach the opposite trough our actions. Gandhi said “We must be the change we wish to see in the world…”. That applies here too. We must behave in a way that demonstrates how we wish to be treated in the world. What goes around comes around and all that.
Going out of the way to help a neighbor or to be kind benefits us all. Kindness raises the vibration of us as a community. Cruelty is detrimental to us collectively. Selfishness is also detrimental. When a person is acting in a cruel or selfish manner, kindness is the most potent antidote. Love extinguishes the flames of hate. When we practice living in this way not only do we find happiness, but we inadvertently snuff out negativity.