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music colorful background with music notesIn the movie, “RESPECT,” recently made about Aretha Franklin’s life, Jennifer Hudson channels Aretha’s incredible talent. At the time of that song’s release, it was a powerful statement that everyone is entitled to be treated with respect. And in her song, “Think,” the line, “You better think (think), think about what you’re trying to do to me,” stands out so clearly.

So many who’ve dealt with expressions of weight bias and fat-shaming have learned how painful it feels to be treated with disrespect. In fact, some of us have even gone so far as to be disrespectful of others struggling with the disease of obesity who maybe haven’t been able to find the best way to manage the chronic condition. Being respectful is key to receiving respect. We get what we give.

  • Offer a helping hand. This shows others that they’re valuable.
  • Be kind. This is another way to demonstrate that you see others as worthwhile.
  • Observe and attest. Find the positive qualities of others and let them and those around them know what you see.
  • Listen to what others say. Turn off your cell phone. Make eye contact. Hear what they say and acknowledge it.
  • Share your time, skills and knowledge with others. Giving your resources indicates you value the other person.
  • Be polite. Use your words and actions to portray basic courtesy and consideration for others. Say “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me.” Seasoning the conversation with respect costs nothing.
  • Be grateful for what you receive from others, however big or small you may perceive it. What may seem quite small to you may be seen as a huge act by the giver. What matters is that the effort is acknowledged and appreciated.

When we give more than we get without keeping score, when we make sure to cause no harm, when we keep our word, when our words and actions are truthful, when we help others, when we are fair to everyone, when we are ourselves and don’t pretend to be who we are not, when we mean what we say, when we are humble, and when we refuse to gossip — we are showing respect.

It doesn’t matter how small the gesture is. Show it. Little drops make an ocean. You’ll probably find that respect is given to you in amazing abundance.

I Care, Barb

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