Respect is an attitude of honoring ourselves and others as people of value. We care for each person’s dignity. Everyone has the right to expect respect. We show respect in the courtesy of our words, and in our tone of voice. We are all exquisitly sensitive to respect. When we treat others as we would like to be treated, we raise the level of trust and peace in our relationships. Respect is having reverence for the earth and all living things. When we live respectfully we are a source of peace in the world.

In Family Life

In a family, respect is a cornerstone of harmonious relationships, fostering an environment where every member feels valued and appreciated. This profound respect is demonstrated through active listening, where family members attentively engage in each other’s thoughts and feelings, validating their perspectives even when differing opinions arise. Respect can be seen in the courtesy shown within the family, such as using polite language and displaying empathy, especially during moments of disagreement.

Additionally, it is exhibited through honoring boundaries and personal space and understanding that each member is entitled to their individuality and autonomy. Ultimately, respect within a family embodies a deep appreciation for one another’s uniqueness and an unwavering commitment to nurturing a loving and supportive bond that endures through the trials of life.


There is a longing among all people and creatures to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that common longing in all of us we must respect each other.

— Chief Dan George

 The Practice of Respect

  • I treat myself and others with dignity
  • I speak and act with courtesy
  • I am a peace builder.
  • I expect respect at all times.
  • I honor the sacredness of all life.
  • I live graciously.

Balancing Respect

Respect is at the core of harmonious human interactions and our connection to the world around us. Keeping it in balance is critical to maintaining healthy relationships. Here are some virtues to help us stay balanced:

      • Wisdom: Wisdom helps us discern when to speak up and when to listen, avoiding both excessive compliance and disregard for others.
      • Courage: Courage empowers us to address conflicts respectfully and assertively, without fear of disrespecting others or compromising our values.
      • Empathy: Empathy allows us to understand and appreciate diverse perspectives, bridging the gap between overdeveloped and underdeveloped respect.
      • Humility: Humility reminds us that we are not infallible, and it’s okay to make mistakes. It keeps us from falling into the perfectionist trap.
      • Gratitude: Gratitude reminds us to respect the Earth and all living things by appreciating the interconnectedness of all life.

It’s essential to recognize when respect becomes excessive or insufficient and strive for a harmonious and balanced approach daily.

Read more on balancing overdeveloped and underdeveloped virtues of respect.