Words by Runali (she/her), QLD

Respect in Oxford’s manual may sound technical,

“A due regard for other feelings, wishes and rights” it’s a bit lexical,

But let me put it in words more poetical,

Respect is engaging with sensory organs, that’s the essence, that’s the chemical.


It can be seen in the eyes,

Or smelled in the lived moment’s space, with no disguise.

It can be touched with love and care,

Or tasted through years, the tears we share.


Respect the time you’ve got to spare,

With family, moments are precious, so rare.

They’re the ones who stand by your side,

Through ups and downs, they’re your endless guide.


Respect the green landscape, don’t let it burn,

Respect the water, don’t let it turn,

Respect the air, that lets us breathe, lets us respire,

Respect the fire and the flames of respect aspire.


Respect the coffee and the chai so fine,

Their rich aroma and flavor, truly divine.

Respect the hands, the chopsticks, the fork and knife,

That makes dining fare and life so sublime.


Respect the pink and blue of human existence,

A spectrum of life, with colors so intense.

But let not the other hues be left out,

Hot pink, red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, indigo, and violet, no doubt.


Respect lingers with us day and night,

In the morning sun, it sheds insight.

Beneath the moon and stars, it holds our plight

And keeps our secrets safe from sight.


Respect and consent, two sides of a coin,

For new relations to build and jointly enjoy,

Actions and words, guide the relationship’s tone,

With respect woven in each aspect and every stone.


Let’s spread this language of respect we know,

To stay united, strong, and let harmony flow.

Because in the realm of respect, virtues align,

Binding hearts and minds, a unity so fine.


Illustration by Aileen. You can find more of her work on Instagram @aileenngstudio

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