R e s p e c t

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Self-respect is vital if you want to live a happy and fulfilling life. Always honor yourself by having dignity and self-confidence. I have been told my whole life that I am a nice person and gladly agree that I am. You would think that because I am a nice person, I would receive the same nice attitude in return but it is quite the opposite. I find that many people view my nice attitude as a weakness. Unfortunately, many people think that they can take advantage of my niceness. This does affect my feelings because I tend to feel disappointed. I guess you can say that I look for the best in everyone I meet. I refuse to change that blessing about myself, because most people start to also see the best in themselves.

Try your hardest to not let the disappointments of life get you down. It is normal that our expectations of people can be unrealistic. I try my best to not become bitter by how many people view my compassion as a weakness. I just respect myself and move on with my life. There are just some people that have already played their role and are not meant to stay in our lives. Most of these roles that people play are lessons that we need to learn about life. I have learned through these examples of people trying to take advantage that I become aware that not everyone wants to be the best of themselves. To them lying, cheating, and stealing from others and themselves is “easier” than bettering themselves.

We want to please the ones we love, it is only natural. Sometimes it is just too demanding or not convenient for you to go so far out of your way all the time. Maybe someone is just asking for too much out of you due to your generous attitude. They may not be aware that they are taking advantage of you but they are, knowingly or not. Paulo Coelho, a brazilian lyricist and novelist has a perfect quote for moments like this. He says, “When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” It is so easy to give too much of ourselves to others out of compassion. If you have ever find yourself at this point, take a step back and notice how you feel. If you feel taken advantage, gently let that person know that they are just asking too much of you. Most people will give you the respect you’re showing them within your self-respect.

I remember when I was on a plane and the flight attendant was describing how to apply the oxygen mask as a safety precaution before take off. While she was demonstrating she mentioned that if you have a child, disabled, or animal next to you, you should always put the mask on yourself first! At that moment, I thought how crazy to be selfish in a moment of panic. I then realized that it makes complete sense. How would you be able to apply the mask to them if you were passed out from the lack of oxygen? I always describe this epiphany to people and they laugh as if the description wasn’t obvious enough. If you think deeply about this lesson you will find you can apply this idea to everything in life. You need to take care of yourself first and foremost before you can truly help anyone else.

Take care of yourself. Teach others to respect you by respecting yourself first!

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