Respect should be an integral part of you. It should be your nature to respect all. If people take undue advantage of your goodness, then it is their loss; not yours, for you remain true in the Eyes of God. The good qualities help you in your spiritual advancement. How does it help you or anyone if you also chose to step down to their level? People have their own shortcomings, and you could help them overcome these by sending them positive thoughts instead of reacting with anger and revenge to their malicious ways. If not at the physical level, then you can deal with them at the soul level by planting seeds of compassion and righteousness in their hearts and minds, and for which you will be highly respected and appreciated.
At the conscious level the ego is in total command over the mind and will not accept or recognise kindness and love shown to them at the physical level, but will use your acts of benevolence against you. Therefore, care not for the ego-selves of the people but for their souls. Do not hate the person for the sake of his uncouth ego. The person is under the ego’s spell, and has no control over this wretched enemy. Here is where you can step in to help set the soul free; help him recognise the dark side of him through positive thoughts and compassion directed at him. Focus on the good qualities of the person, for every person, no matter how despicable he may appear to be, has some good quality in him. Goodness is innate in every human being because every individual is a child of God, and thus carries the spark of God’s Light in his heart.
Gossiping about people and exposing their evils is downright condemnable. Such activities do not help you or the person concerned in any way. It is an act where you are guilty of generating evil in the person, and for polluting the environment with your negativity. By speaking well about everyone you are being instrumental in bringing to surface the good qualities that lie deep under the gross layers of a person.
Be charitable to all – not just in kind, but in thoughts and emotions as well. The truth is that all people who are here to share this planet with you are your fellow-travellers in this journey of life, heading towards the one Destination. Therefore, strive to make this journey a pleasant one, not just for you but for everyone else as well, with acts of kindness and compassion.