Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, understood the importance of choosing a right attitude even in bad situations. She was known to be someone that avoided grudges. One time a friend reminded her of a cruel thing that had happened to her previously, but Clara seemed not to remember the incident. “Don’t you remember the wrong that was done to you?, the friend asked. Clara answered calmly. “No, I distinctly remember forgetting that.”
“We don’t have to agree on anything to be kind to one another.” (Toby Mac)
One day while I was a high school student, a bunch of us were playing pickup basketball at a nearby gym. I was playing well and doing my fair share of trash talking that day. Finally, my friend had enough of this as some of my verbal barrage was directed at him.
He told us that he didn’t want to play any more and that we all had to leave. You see, he was the one that had the key to the gym and had opened it up for us to play. He literally took his ball and went home. He didn’t have very thick skin and didn’t react to the situation very well. I, on the other hand, was not very respectful as I acted like a punk.
Most of the time, showing respect to people (even those that you don’t think deserve it) is more a reflection of your character than it is a reflection of theirs.