Somewhere along the way, society has shifted. Respect was instilled in those born before the days of technology. It was part of life. You shake the hand and look in the eye of those you meet. Today, we are lucky if our youth put their phones down long enough to see the person standing in front of them. Who’s to blame here? Better yet, what can we do about it? Whatever the situation is, being proactive is the key. The respect institute has come up with eight basic ways we can bring back some r-e-s-p-e-c-t.

Setting boundaries is huge. As decades go by, boundaries are stretched more and more.  Setting boundaries for ourselves keeps us and our home safe and on the same page. Whenever those boundaries are crossed, pre-determined consequences come into play. No surprises. Respect gained.

Tell your truth! The truth will set you free. It will also show your transparency, allowing others to be transparent. Even your kids. The more truth comes in to play, the more respect we all have for one another. No one respects a liar, even if the lies are white.

Follow your passion. Will a chef cook a better meal or will a mechanic? The chef has passion for cooking, so the meal will more likely be better. If you follow your passion, you will make a better meal than someone that is just doing the job to do it. The more we follow our passion, the greater our passion will be used to help others. Teaching our youth to follow their passions will teach them to value themselves more, because they are staying true to themselves, all while gaining value in their passion. Wow.

Knowing we are valuable is what keeps us going. We go to work because we value the fact that it pays our bills. We are valuable in that concept. We matter. The more our kids feel valued, the more they will feel self-worth and respect themselves. They matter. If you feel valued, then you will respect yourself more and in turn thrive to be a healthier human being. Value the one life you’re given and teach them to value theirs from an early age.

Trust your gut. Did you know your gut has over one million neurons? Like the brain, it has feelings, remembers things, and sends us messages. Unlike the brain, your gut doesn’t lie. Don’t let your brain trick you into not trusting your gut feeling. And don’t let someone else’s lie trick your gut either.

Get help! A strong support circle will help anyone thrive. No one can do it alone. The more help you get, the more you can help those around you, especially those suffering with addiction. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and not by one person. God didn’t intend on man to do it alone. So, don’t face the situation alone. Get help.

Show compassion. When was the last time you talked to your child instead of at them? Seek to understand them by showing them compassion, then they are more likely to try and understand you back. This may (will) take time and practice. Take the time out daily to have a conversation with your child, and don’t be surprised when they start to listen to you more in return.

Have courage! You need it to follow these respect basics. It won’t always be comfortable, and you won’t always be the favorite. In the long run, you will be glad. The more we show respect for ourselves and others the more respect we will gain.


Lori Youngblood is a recovering drug addict.  Her mission is to help others gain knowledge about the disease of addiction.