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due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others.

a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

I was born East London and my early years were spent in a beautiful, brand new town house in Stoke Newington. I had two older sisters and a younger brother.

We were brought up to have respect for ourselves and for others. Foul language was not acceptable, we were brought up to be polite, clean and tidy in our appearance, we were called ‘angels’ by the elderly folk in our church. My mother wanted us to be the best so nobody could ever say anything negative about us. She was strict and my Father had the same values but was very sweet with it.

Personally, I think that standards have dropped with regards to parenting skills, not to say that naughty children did not exist in the 70’s, today we notice more that some parents have failed to monitor what their children are exposing themselves to. It cannot be helped that they will probably be influenced my peer pressure and mixing with other children, but they do know right from wrong.

I remember when I was in primary school, if we even heard a child use a swear word, we would show on our faces how shocked we were, it would be like “Oh you used a bad word, I’m telling the teacher’

Back then we were innocent, and our parents monitored what we watched as children. We had a routine in our lives. A typical day would be to wake up, clean our teeth, wash ourselves and go down to have our breakfast. We had to be immaculate when we left the house, all our meals were healthy and on time, we ate as a family around the table, and we would have to ask to be excused. Later, it was bath then bed. I always thought that every parent brought their kids up in the same way we were.

It was not until I was much older that I realised that everyone came from different types of family settings with different standards and values. I did not even know about one parent families or abusive partners as I was fortunate to have both parents who protected me from the horrors of the dark side of society.

I have had that argument in my head as to whether it was unwise to be ‘wrapped up in cotton wool’ throughout my childhood and to be ignorant of what was going on outside, but to be honest with you I wish I was still ignorant and not have to have discovered half of what I know.

Respect is the foundation for good relationships and without it the relationship has no entry level value.

In the Caribbean respect is expected amongst the elderly folk, for example if you, as a young person, are walking past a senior citizen it is only right to greet them and if you fail to do so your parents would soon get to know about it.

Personally, I believe respect is important in everything whether it be of self or a person, a property, or the environment that you are living in.

I always said that ‘no one is going to respect your home as much as you do’ and ‘people do to you what you allow them to get away with’.

My motto is that if you cannot respect me or the space around me stay away from me. It’s as simple as that.

I have a lot of respect for the emergency services as they do a great job at saving lives and must put up with the unsavoury characters of society.

I am a ‘people person’ and I value people who come from all different walks of life. However, if anyone, whether rich or poor show me any kind of disrespect then they are never going to be in my circle of friends. I may not have high self- esteem, but I have respect for myself, and no one can take that away from me.

I see children, swearing and hitting their parent(s) such behaviour is uncouth and should not be rewarded with the act of giving in to them. I do feel for these parents who have lost the power of discipline as sometimes, it can be too late as it was never ‘nipped in the bud’ or even acknowledged when the behaviour first began. Spoiling a child is not loving or helping them it is just making a ‘rod for your own back’ they will have no respect for you, they will see you as a ‘pushover’ and they will make demands on you, which you will feel obliged to cooperate.

Respect amongst adults is of equal importance especially if that person is a big part of your life. There is a big difference between being ‘sworn at’ and being ‘sworn to’ in other words swearing can just be in some peoples everyday language which is normal for them but when somebody tells you to ‘F*** off’ or calls you a derogatory name like ‘c***’ then it becomes personal and if you have any ounce of respect for yourself you would take a great offence to it and correct them.

I will never tell you that I am perfect, although swearing is not a part of my everyday language, I do have my moments when I am angry that I would use such foul words. I do feel guilty as it makes me feel like I have broken my ‘golden rule’ it’s almost like a Christian that blasphemes.

Disrespect has no place or balance at all in life, it leaves you wide open to hurt and discontentment.

There is a balance in how much respect you can show for someone especially if you know they are not deemed worthy. It may pain you to have to show someone respect who has done you wrong in the past. I would say ‘build a bridge and get over it’ show them that you are the better person.

In everything there is a balance.

Natalie Bleau

The Scripture of Balance

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    April 18, 2022

    Respect is earned

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