Instructor: Sean McFarland
A 21st Century Civilized Person
A 21st century civilized person is one who respects others, treat others as she or he would expect of others. Civilized does not mean to be only educated, because many of educated people are not respectful of others. The way you choose to represent yourself to the world is a personal choice. Instead of being a slave to reactions, you could make a proactive decision to be a rational and respectful person. Being a genuinely respectful person is a sure fire way to feel good about yourself, make friends at the same time, and become a civilized person. Treating someone with utmost respect now will leave a position where you need their help in the future. In the movie The Road (2009), directed by John Hillcoat, knowing what is to happen, it is already an effort not to weep. The reason the story wields such emotional power is because it speaks to what we all share: loving relationships with those closest to us, ties which will one day be broken by death. Wouldn’t you prefer to be known as the nice and respectful person, rather than the contrary? Being a respectful person is also a great way to diffuse a conflict. Why not being respectful just to make someone else feel good? Who knows what the butterfly effect of your niceness will be. Maybe you will have the whole world being respectful back and forth. I can dream, can’t I? Either way, you will still make someone feel important, and valuable. If you expand your thoughts of respect enough, how soon will the whole world be treating each other with respect? Is it possible that someone in your life looks up to you? Kids, friends, siblings, or employees? Take a look at what you are putting out into the world, and what kind of an example you would like to be setting. Everyday you get to challenge yourself to improve in some way. Challenge yourself to be as respectful as possible, and feel a sense of accomplishment with every respectful interaction. If nothing else, being the respectful half of a conversation will allow you to feel a sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing that you were the bigger person. Best case scenario; the other person will return the gesture. So you see, being respectful has many long term and instant advantages when it comes to relationships of all kinds. And a 21st century civilized person is built based on durable relationships.
But how to be respectful to others? Treat others, as you want them to treat you. To earn respect you must first, give respect and give it to yourself too, as, if you do not respect yourself, no one else will respect you. Merely saying “please” and “thank you” does not mean that you are being respectful. In the daily grind and stress of everyday life, we have forgotten the moral obligation of respecting others so that we are also respected in turn. If you can earn the respect of your peers and fellows, then it is a life well lived as it is the hardest thing to get, even taking up an entire lifetime. Respect can never be forced as it comes straight from the heart. A person may respect another because of fear but that is not true respect. True respect only comes when you empathize with the other person, which will make him or her feel respected and so return the favor. The Road takes a very harsh view of humanity or at the very least the future of humanity. When the chips are down The Road believes that humanity will revert to its most base form. To put other peoples need before yours, will convey your respect to others. Respect is the pillar that supports the bridge called relationship. Be kind. Showing kindness towards others is the best way to endear you to them. A simple act of kindness can show your respect towards others. Do not stereotype other people. Stereotyping makes you come across as a narrow-minded person. It also shows your lack of respect for the person, you are stereotyping. Apologizing for your mistake, can show how much you...
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