"One is never too young to learn respect for all of God's creatures, the planet, one's fellow man and one's self; for within one's respect lies the spirituality of one's purpose. We cannot give our respect to others unless we first hold it for ourselves. As my mother often said as she reprimanded me for slouching, 'Billy, if you carry yourself like a King, you’ll get your Queen, but carry yourself as a hoe, and a rake is all you'll ever hold in your hands!'
Respect is that intangible thing one instantly recognises by its absence or presence. It should never be bestowed with profit in mind. Like discerning Facebook contacts, we should not 'like' just to 'be liked' in return. When we bestow respect on another, it should be given freely with no thought of return. Respect knows no boundary. Your respect for another will stretch only as far as the degree of respect you hold for yourself; it acknowledges no race superior to that of another, it does not distinguish unfavourably between man, woman or child, rich or poor, black or white, famous or unknown. We owe all others no less respect than we owe ourselves, and it remains beholding on us to pay all dues.
There are many things in life that seem so easy to respect at the passing out parade; the bravery of soldiers fighting for one's country, that special relationship between a mother and child as mum gives that extra push to give her offspring a start in life, a person struggling and working every hour God sends them to make ends meet and to put food on the family table and clothes on their children's backs, a double amputee with artificial arms and legs fighting to regain mobility, etc. etc.
But what about the cause that conceals its deserved respect beneath a cover of conspicuous circumstances which look unappealing? I never meet a ragged tramp in the street without feeling that I might owe him my salute, for I know not what possibilities may be buttoned up beneath his coat as he bravely soldiers on one day to the next in his war on want. Just because he's on the streets today, doesn't tell us where he walked one year ago. He might have worn the Queen's uniform and fought for the freedom of other people in Afghanistan or Iraq! Who knows what others keep buttoned up that is deserving of our respect?" William Forde: August 30th, 2016.