Is Respect a Lost Value in our Society?

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“In a gently way, you can shake the world.”
Mahatma Gandhi

In our home, respect for elders is so important that we live and breathe it. The value of respect is passed down from my family, from previous generations and I incorporate it into my children’s daily lives and routine.

My 8 year old son’s school teaches the value of respect and one of the ways in which they do this is to acknowledge Grandparent’s Day. Jeremy expected his 80 year old grandma to be present, come rain or shine as it was her duty to be there, in his mind. So I made him aware that he had to look out for her amongst the crowds of 400 other grandparents visiting the school as I couldn’t be there to help her. My mum is visually impaired in one eye.

During the course of the day, my mum was so touched by him because he offered her his seat in class while all other grandparents were standing and watching the other children. A true little gentleman, he showed respect to her and I am truly proud of him.

I have seen how people mistreat the elderly in our society, get impatient on the roads because others are in their way and bullies are everywhere.

We don’t really need to be loud and obnoxious, to get things done our way. Perhaps we need to be considerate and ask politely from our fellow business colleagues for time to listen or ask permission to say something. Being a little considerate does make our day a lot pleasant and exercising a little respect means a lot to someone else.

Our role as parents, are so important because we are shaping the world we live in, for our future generations, in the way we bring up our children. It seems we are too busy living our lives that we forget to stop every now and then, to look around us and appreciate what is there in front of us. Has our common decency to say G’day or even give a smile, or just say thank you disappeared?

I believe the value of respect starts in our homes, we are responsible to teach our children to be kind and considerate to others by our own actions. Saying please and thank you or smiling. Imagine this thought, if you ignore your child everytime they want to speak or don’t take time to play with them, what do you teach them? When you take time to teach your children the value of respect from young, you are really teaching them how to treat the people around them and be mindful to them. My son gets picked on in school a lot, even though we have strategies for him to cope. At present he is only 8 and he started experiencing this since he was 5, when he first started school. Why do bullies show no respect to others?

I believe their is a story behind every bully that strikes another that we don’t fully understand.

A friend of mine, Karen Clarke has written a book “From Bullied to Brilliant“, describing an alternative way in dealing with the issue of bullies, in our society. It is a great book because it teaches us that the challenges and difficulties in our life is a gift that can help us find strength from within. For me, her message is clear, we must teach our children to cultivate the practice of respect for each other. Until we see ourselves as worthy human beings, capable of achieving anything we can dream of or set our minds to, as long as we do not step on each other for our personal gain, then we show respect for human life.

It starts in our homes and how we treat each member of our family. Through seeing this habit in action every day, our children will one day become adults in our society and perhaps make a difference in our world.

Are we living in a world where life is treated with dignity?

When do we make that change and recognise the importance of The Human Touch?

Perhaps, now is a good time to try.


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About Alison Laverty

Alison Laverty is a Singapore born Eurasian of Portuguese descent. Specialising in multimedia, Alison creates photo slideshows and video production for families and businesses. Her mission is to help people honour life by celebrating and recognising their achievements through photographic and video memories. Alison is currently writing her forthcoming book of memoirs "The Human Touch - A Story About Connections".