By Sr. Dr Lilly on 04-02-2014

Respect is a gesture of deep reverence, gratitude and
gratefulness to the Creator. When we respect our fellow beings we are in fact
respecting God himself because each of us is a part of God. Every culture has
different gestures expressing respect and reverence for a deity or to human
beings.                 Respect is the
acceptance of the other as they are. So respect should start from the heart and
not to be an external show. If it is a show, then it becomes an imitation and
pretence. Respect human beings- respect their individuality, respect their
differences. And that is possible only if you respect your own individuality.
Great people are respected anywhere without demand. Rich people are respected
for their money power and influence. In our context people living in the lower
strata are not respected. So they need to be respected and made comfortable.
Being friendly and hospitable to such people always imprints a feeling in them
that they too are part of the system and they are wanted in the society.
Everyone likes to be respected and likes to get importance. It is the game of
the ego.

One day a kind visited the Zen master. The Zen master
did not even get up when he saw the King coming. The King felt very strange and
surprised. However the King asked, “Which is higher, a worldly king, or the
king of dharma? The Zen master replied, “Among human kings I am higher; among
the kings of dharma I am also higher.” Hearing this surprising answer, the king
was very pleased.

The next day a general came to  visit the Zen master, who not only got up
from his seat when he saw the general coming, but also showed him more
hospitality in every way than he had shown to 
the king. After the general had left, one of the disciples asked him, “Why
did you get up from your seat when a person of lower rank came to see you, yet
you did not do so for one of the highest rank? The Zen master replied, “You
don’t understand. When people of the highest rank come to see me, I do not get
up from my seat; when they are medium quality, I do; but when they are of the
lowest quality, I go outside of the gate to receive them.”

About The Author

Sr. Dr Lilly

Realms of value contains short thought provoking stories from Sr. (Dr) Lilly SJL who is presently Vice Prinicipal of Fatima College, Madurai. She has chaired many international missions and her works belong 'Geneder discrimination in Indian Societies' and 'Education and Empowerment of women'.