Be kind to everyone you meet.
You may never see them again.

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Respect English


Respect and related terms


If you are using the video, ask question 1 before viewing.

1. Suppose you were driving in a traffic jam and you suddenly realized you have to cut across two lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic to turn right at the next corner. What’s the first thing you would do? Why?

2. What would you have done if someone tried to cut in front of you in traffic without asking your permission? Why? Has seeing this video changed your mind?

3. In the video Dr. Mike received a FAX from a teenager who is tired of all the put-downs at her school. Do you have the same problems at your school? What do you think can be done about it?

4. How do you feel when someone judges you without knowing you or giving you a chance? How do you feel when someone you disagree with calls you a name? How do you feel when someone bumps into you in the hall and doesn't apologize?

5. Agree or disagree: Courtesy and politeness are a lot of nonsense.

6. In the video one teen said that if someone shows you respect, you should show respect in return. Do you agree? How do you feel if you treat someone with respect and that person responds with rudeness? If someone insults you, should you insult that person in return?

7. One girl in the video makes the point that you don't have to respect everyone, you simply have to treat people with respect. What’s the difference? Do you agree with her point of view? Explain.

8. Agree or disagree: When people stay out of a bully’s way, they are showing respect.

9. Mike's advice to Kim is to establish some rules and make them stick. What are your rules for respectful behavior?

10. How did the story of Brian Harris and his pen-pal service make you feel? What did you learn from it?

11. Do you think Brian’s pen-pal service is making our world a better place to live in? In what way?

12. What can you do to make this a more respectful world?

13. Does respect play a role in harmonious race relations? Explain.

14. Do you think that people in our society are respectful enough of each other? Why?

15. Do you consider yourself to be a respectful person? Why, or why not? In what ways do you show respect to others?

16. How is respect related to fairness? To caring? To the Golden Rule? To violence?

17. What does respect have to do with the quality of your character?

18. What are the benefits of people treating each other with respect?

19. Did the video present any ideas you disagree with?

Other teaching guides in this series:


•  Trustworthiness

•  Citizenship

Poems about respect

Best quotes and poems

Respect is...

Respect is...listening with out interrupting

Respect is...taking your partner's feelings into consideration

Respect is...keeping an open mind

Respect is...agreeing to disagree

Respect is...trying to understand your partner's viewpoint

Respect is...loving yourself

Respect and honesty

Respect each other space

Respect is...nonviolence

Respect communication

Respect is...building a person up instead of tearing them down

Respect is...friendship

Respect is…not pressuring the other person


Because we live in a society that is highly competitive. To disrespect another is to place yourself above them in status and in what you presume you deserve. That disrespect permits denial of any harm such competitiveness may cause to another and justification that you deserve more than another. To respect another is to bring to conscious awareness that all of us are more alike in our humanity than we are different across nations, across races, across beliefs, and across gender. I believe that both Fellman and Henry and Milovanovic would classify respect as leading to a more humane community and closer to the paradigm shift that we seek.

The theory of respect



We are forced

We are ignored

We are threatened

We feel imposed upon

We feel intruded upon

We feel judged or rejected

We are not listened to

We are lied to

We are lied about

We are not given reasonable explanations

We are not asked for our opinions

We are invalidated

We are interrupted

We are laughed at
(especially when we are upset or
in pain or some kind of trouble)

We are not cared about

We are mocked

We are stereotyped

We are underestimated

We are not taken seriously

Our feelings are not taken seriously

Our preferences are not taken seriously

Our dreams are not taken seriously

Our ideas are not taken seriously

Our needs are not acknowledged
and not taken seriously

Our questions are not taken seriously

Our questions are not answered or
are evaded

We are told that we wouldn't be able to
to understand something

We are not asked for our ideas

Others make decisions about us
without our input

Others do not try to understand us

Others make assumptions about us

We are not asked what we think we need

Others tell us what they think we need.

We are not asked how we feel

Others believe they know what is best for us

Others believe they know us better
than we know ourselves

Our way of doing things is not accepted

Our privacy is invaded or denied

We feel betrayed

We feel controlled.