My parents raised me to respect others; it didn’t matter the other person’s ethnicity, socio-economic status, or station in life. It wasn’t a case of them teaching me to expect the other person to respect me first, but that I was to show respect first. Sadly, these days that seems to be a dying concept. What I see today is “I will respect them only if they show me respect first” mentality. Why should another person show you respect if you are disrespecting them first?
FYI, I am also blunt which may come across as being disrespectful to some. I try to temper it when dealing with cultures where blunt is frowned upon. At least you know where I stand on an issue and don’t need an interpreter to figure out what I meant. Too often I need an interpreter to figure out what somebody means because they beat around the bush to the point I have no clue what they mean. I indirectly made this point in my post The Difference Between Northerners and Southerners in the United States — American in Korea. Here’s the original post by American in Korea: https://americankorea.blog/2019/06/05/the-difference-between-northerners-and-southerners-in-the-united-states/.
My parents also taught me that once a word or comment was spoken, it couldn’t be taken back. I could apologize for it, but that doesn’t mean the other person would forgive me. As a result, my parents also made a point of having us think about something before we said it. There are plenty of times where I haven’t posted something on social media because I counted to 10, or equally important, realized that no matter how much proof I showed, the other person was not going to change their mind. The same goes for texts, social media posts, etc. Given the speed with which a person can snag your comment with a screenshot or snap a photo with their phone or tablet, it’s even more relevant today. That’s not counting how many times people have sent e-mails that were only meant for an individual or a handful of people only to have it blow up in their faces when someone shares it online.
A former boss (hi JW) made a regular comment about not being a hill she was willing to die on – https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Not%20a%20hill%20I%20want%20to%20die%20on.
I will sometimes take positions that don’t agree with what many people think is the right thing. Yet, these same people expect, and often demand, that I support their position while ignoring that my position is valid even if they don’t agree with it. At some point, I have faith on some things my position will turn out to be the right position. A friend makes a point that just because a lot of people, or almost everybody in the world, supports a position doesn’t make it the right position.
I may never be a teacher or college professor, but I remember one management textbook where an example included a professor that had a test question, only worth 1 point, which asked the name of the cleaning person who was regularly seen by the class. A student asked if he was serious. His response was yes. His point was that one day the janitor may make a difference in your life. Having been a janitor, I can tell you how few times people asked my name or bothered to read my name-tag, much less thank me for going above and beyond.