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We beseech children to respect their elders–honor their request and direction, adhere to the directions and guidance they give as well as be considerate of the beliefs and wishes espoused by those who raised, mentored or have authority over us.

But, respect cannot be given blindly. In fact, as we grow we learn that to maintain respect, that respect must have been earned by the person’s actions and deeds. If we demand respect, we must reciprocate. To expect that we should be respected when we disrespect others is unacceptable.

If we teach our children to respect their elders, we must demonstrate it in our own behavior and words. We cannot live under the premise of “do as I say, not as I do!”  Our reality is that children and those looking for a mentor and guide will more often than not replicate the behavior they see rather than act in the manner they are told. So, instead of leading by command, let us lead by example in living a life that promotes respect through all of our interactions.