From The Virtues Project Educator’s Guide


Respect is an attitude of caring about people and treating them with dignity. Respect is valuing ourselves and others. We show respect by speaking and acting with courtesy. When we are respectful we treat others as we want to be treated. Respect includes honoring the rules of our family or school, which makes life more orderly and peaceful. It is knowing that every man, woman and child deserves respect, including you.


Without respect for rules, we would have confusion. People would treat each other rudely and violate each other’s privacy and other rights. Respect helps people to feel valued. Elders deserve special respect because they have lived longer and learned many of life’s lessons. Self-respect is making sure no one hurts you or abuses you, even an elder. When you respect yourself, others respect you, too.


Think about how you would like others to treat you and treat them with the same dignity. How would you like others to speak to you, treat your belongings, and your right to privacy? If you want to use someone else’s things, ask, and then take good care of them. Express even your strongest feelings in a peaceful way. Treat yourself as you feel others deserve to be treated. You deserve it too!

What would Respect look like if…

  • You want to use your friend’s bike but she is not around to ask?
  • Your grandparents come over and start giving you advice?
  • You find yourself talking back to your teacher?
  • Your brother is in the bathroom and you need to ask him a question?
  • There is a rule at school you don’t agree with?
  • An older person starts touching you inappropriately?

Congratulation! You are practicing Respect when you…

  • Treat others as you want to be treated
  • Speak courteously to everyone
  • Take special care of other people’s belongings
  • Are receptive to the wisdom of elders
  • Honor the rules of your family, school and nation
  • Expect respect for your body and your rights

Keep trying! You need more practice when you…

  • Treat others like they don’t matter
  • Ignore the wisdom of elders
  • Use anything you want without the owner’s permission
  • Interrupt or barge in on anyone
  • Make fun or talk back to your elders
  • Disobey the rules of your family or school
  • Allow others to treat you disrespectfully


I am respectful. I treat others and myself as we deserve to be treated. I show courtesy to everyone. I learn from the wisdom of my elders.


A young street artist learns about respect.


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