Begin typing your search...
Why respect matters in nurturing relationships
If you ask most people in their twenties today about what is on their mind, they will say relationships and career. It may also be the same if you ask people in their thirties and forties.
Relationships matter because we live in families, communities, cities and nations. By nature, we are social creatures, and conflict in any of our important relationships can tear us apart. Yet how many of us can say that we know how to nurture healthy, happy, positive relationships? Here are just a few of the things I learnt over the years about relationship.
Mutual trust and respect is a fine quality to have in relationships, but often we are more concerned with self-respect, expecting others to respect us rather than making an effort to respect them. I do not have a lot of respect for self-respect, as it is usually childish, and not really helpful for our growth. But let’s consider a higher approach towards the subject. Here is what two of the guides of our heartfulness tradition have had to say about self-respect:
*Babuji: “Self-respect, as I understand it, means that one should not do unto others as one would not like others to do unto oneself.”
**Lalaji: “Everyone should remain reserved with one another. One should not give opportunity for too much talking – that is, do not give a long rope for discussion. One should not reveal one’s household secrets to all and sundry. One should not consider oneself as weak. One should not utter anything that may drive others to become unmannerly towards you. All of this constitutes the definition ofself-respect.”
Now let’s concern ourselves with respect for others. It is actually the epitome of love for yourself. If you do not love yourself, this very fine quality can never develop inside you.
Take a situation where you felt angry because you did something that made you unhappy with yourself. Can you respect others at that time? It is not possible.
Now contrast that with how you behave when you are in a state of love. Even when an enemy comes before you, because of the way you behave, he will feel, ‘Look! He is treating me so well.’ He then goes back changed.
Respect for others is expressed in many ways. If you were invited to visit a dignitary, for example, would you wear shorts? No, because you want to show respect to the person.
The principle here is not that we want to look good, but that we want to make an extra effort when visiting someone of a certain stature. When we wear a tie to the office because guests are visiting, we do it as a mark of respect for them. It is not that we want to show off. It is precisely to show respect towards others that we dress in a certain fashion.
(To be concluded)
Reprinted with permissionby Kamlesh D Patel from Designing Destiny, 2019.www.daaji.org/designing-destiny
(Kamlesh D Patel is the fourth spiritual guide in the Sahaj Marg system of Raja Yoga meditation. He travels extensively and is at home with people from all backgrounds and walks of life, giving special attention to the youth of today.)