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Aretha Franklin sang, “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what that means to me.”  What does that mean to me?

Dictionary.com defines “respect” as:
1. a particular, detail, or point (usually preceded by in ): to differ in some respect.
2. relation or reference: inquiries with respect to a route.
3. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.
4. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect’s right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
5. the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect. EXPAND
6. respects, a formal expression or gesture of greeting, esteem, or friendship: Give my respects to your parents.
7. favor or partiality.
8. Archaic. a consideration.  

Note the differences between 3 and 4.   You can show respect to someone (4) without actually feeling respect for them (3).  For example, you may respect the office of the President, but not respect the President as a person.  Or you can do both.  Sometimes we show respect to someone (4) because we feel respect for them (3).

This all ties in with some thoughts I’ve had lately on self-respect.  We all ought to have it, but do we?  Do we esteem our own worth?  Do we give ourselves courtesy & acceptance?  I know that too often, I beat myself up if I fall short & I feel like a real loser!  But then, I’m not giving myself the respect I deserve.  Just as I try to ensure that I speak to others with respect, I need to speak to myself respectfully as well.

Give yourself a little respect today...you are worth it!

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