To respect and give consideration for others, always taking care never to hinder, hold back or hurt anyone.
To always consider another persons life, and what they have to do, is showing respect at the same time as gratitude, they are closely related. It is another way of developing gratitude because you appreciate those things you have the right to do. If you show respect to others, that is gratitude for what you have the abilities and rights to do yourself. You must respect others for their rights, or you have no rights of your own.
It is not just respecting a person, giving respect to one person or authority. Respect, true respect, is a state of being that is expressed in action just as breathing expresses being alive. Just like being honest, reliable, or a thief, you are that way. And that is what real respect is, it is a natural state of your being that is consistent to how you treat every single person and object and the universe, allowing each to be what they are and live as they choose. You have respect, period.
That is real respect, not just bowing down to one person who is an authority figure that so called deserves respect. Why we generally lack true respect is because rarely does anyone give true respect, so you do not have an example to follow and so you can never acquire it. Remember that all character traits are not something that you have naturally, necessarily, but that you have to learn. Or that you do have naturally but your growing up educates you to be different than you naturally are.
And so because of how we grow up and our experience with parents, school, teachers and so on, we do not cultivate a natural or healthy character trait of true respect, so now you have to develop that on your own.
With true respect, you can have your thoughts and ideas, but it is so important to have consideration of other people. If you can reduce your ego to the point that you do not need to do things your way but can conform to other peoples style and desires, basically fit into the environment, while maintaining your sense of yourself, which includes holding your tongue and not speaking up regardless of what you consider to be right, this is respect coming from a wise individual. You do not change due to the clothes you wear, but you dress for the climate you are in.
Interact with each one according to their level of being. If you need things to be your way, then what is your level of development? If you use the excuse of being at a low level to justify your poor, immature actions, then you will stay at that level. If you force yourself to act as an evolved individual would act, then you will raise your level. It is so simple, it just takes effort. Are you lazy, or determined?
It is the respect out of gratitude. This means that when you socialize with people or you are welcomed into a community, you must have the gratitude for being accepted, welcomed and wanted, and if you wish to maintain the gratitude or maintain that which you are grateful for, meaning the acceptance of your presence, you must show respect for those who want you. Respect others customs and culture whether it is another country or city, and respect other peoples manners and moral code, code of ethics, style, even if they are the foreigner in your land. To give this kind of respect is to show your gratitude for them willing to be with you, whether your are the guest or the host, either way, you are advised to adjust to make other people feel at home and comfortable. Or would you rather be continually rejected and alone?
Afterall, everybody has many choices as to what they can do with their time so for them to spend time with you is to say that they are giving you a very precious commodity, one that can never be replaced.
If you have developed within your self a sense of balance and equanimity, you will have time because you realize that the only use of your time is to do what is in front of you. Your time may be valuable, but it is not as valuable as the person who thinks they have so many projects and things to do. Things have no intrinsic value other than the value we place on them, that is how some objects of art are worth more than others. Of course, time is the only thing you have of real value that you must guard and use wisely. So what you do with your time is important, but we are speaking of examples where you choose to use your time to be with another person.
Even though you may not consider their use of time the best or to the highest benefit, to them it is. Taking the teaching that our purpose in life is to help as many people as we can, but above all never hurt anyone, we let go of our opinions of right and wrong. If you say to yourself; “This is how I am and if someone doesn’t like it, to bad for them”, you are far from a free, open minded and clean hearted person who has conquered the ego. This attitude simply allows you to hurt people without remorse or guilt. Sometimes you may even justify your actions saying that the other person must learn to be more tolerable or open minded.
Often the one that points to the other claiming closed mindedness, is pointing with a very closed mind themselves. This is the basic selfish American attitude that causes all the problems in our path to success, be it personal, relationships, business, and especially spiritual growth. We must consider other peoples opinions and values, and how we affect them. Do we make them feel good, upset or hurt. We take that as our only guideline of correct conduct, letting go of our rebellious nature or false independence trying to prove ourselves, under the guise of being open or setting healthy boundaries. Allow your self to be more considerate and thoughtful as your primary objective in subduing the ego and opening, cleaning, the heart.
This is gratitude and respect, as well as gratitude and appreciation.
I put it this way; “The finger that points to the one of large ego is usually green with jealousy.”
Now to straighten out some possible confusion between this teaching and the one on not considering others. This is a good example of how important it is to learn to see the meaning behind the words rather than the words themselves. We have no better word than considering for both these opposite teachings. In the sense it is used in not considering others, that is referring to having the fear of what others think. The fear being if they will not like you, so you consider everything they say as valuable regardless of what rubbish it may be. Taking all they say to heart, you identify with their thoughts, which are almost always based on their own fears and ego, and you create a false image of yourself, fearful of being who you really are due to the potential that someone may say something negative about you.
The other point that must clear up is in allowing others to be what they are without your feeling responsible. We have taught you that if someone chooses to be upset, that is their choice to be upset and not your responsibility. Here we have said that you must do your best not to upset anyone. The contradiction appears to be between you being responsible and not being responsible.
It is true that you are not the one who is responsible for another persons level of development and their choice of emotions, however, if you can avoid pushing another persons buttons for no useful reason, then you must avoid presenting the opportunity for them to get upset. For some people, no matter what you do, they may get upset, so you must allow them to be that way. But if you have evolved to the stage that you are comfortable anywhere, in the desert alone or in the palace with the king, then it is your duty as the evolved one to allow others to have things in a manner that makes them feel comfortable and not antagonized.
If you want to help, then the best way is to provide a peaceful, comfortable atmosphere that they can relax in and have the potential to see by your example that there is a chance to live freely and without anger. That is the only effective way to teach, by example, not by a crusade.
Every moment, interaction and action, consider if you are hurting anyone in any way. Observe other people to notice when they do something you consider rude or improper, and rather than judging them, which you will probably do anyway, consider if you do the same thing, and watch as much as possible when you may be doing it and stop yourself from doing it.