Respect is honoring the worth or dignity in a person or process. When we respect others, we take their preferences and ideas seriously. We thoughtfully weigh our own insights and experiences against theirs.
Respect is merited particularly by those who are our elders, because knowledge, insight and wisdom often are hard won through a lifetime of discipline and learning.
Cultivating respect as a virtue does not mean insisting that all ideas, beliefs, or actions are respect-worthy. It does mean that we recognize the basic human dignity of others, even when their ideas or values are different than our own. A general attitude of respect also assumes that each person has something to teach us if we are willing to learn.
“Bagi orang yang memiliki keyakinan dan sila yang sempurna, akan memperoleh nama harum dan kekayaan, pergi ke tempat manapun ia akan selalu dihormati” – Buddha
“Kamu harus menghormati orang lain sebagaimana kamu ingin dihormati oleh mereka” – Sri Sathya Sai Baba (guru spiritual India)
“Anda menuntut penghormatan dan Anda akan mendapatkannya. Pertama-tama, Anda harus memberikan rasa hormat terlebih dahulu” – Mary J. Blige (penulis dan penyanyi Amerika)
Dia yang ingin setangkai mawar harus menghormati duri-durinya. – Peribahasa Persia
Dimana bumi dipijak, disitu langit dijunjung. – Peribahasa Indonesia
Sunita, the Scavenger
In Savatthi there was a scavenger named Sunita. He was a road-sweeper and barely earned enough to feed himself. Sunita slept on the roadside, for he did not have a house to go to. He saw other people enjoying themselves but he could not mix with them because these people called him an outcast. Whenever a higher caste person went on the road Sunita had to run and hide so his shadow did not fall on them. If he was not quick enough he would be scolded and beaten. Poor Sunita lived a miserable life.
One day, as he was sweeping a dirty, dusty road, Sunita saw the Buddha with thousands of followers coming towards him. His heart was filled with joy and fear and finding no place to hide he just stood, joining his palms in respect. The Buddha stopped and spoke to poor Sunita in a sweet, gentle voice saying, “My dear friend, would you like to leave this work and follow me?”
Nobody had ever spoken to Sunita like this before. His heart was filled with joy and his eyes with tears. “O, most venerable Sir, I have always received orders but never a kind word. If you accept a dirty and miserable scavenger like me I will follow you.”
So the Buddha ordained Sunita and took him along with the other monks. From that day forth no one knew what Sunita’s caste was, and nobody treated him with disgust and cruelty. Everybody, even kings, ministers and commanders, respected him.