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Is Respect Earned Or Given?
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Is Respect Earned Or Given?

Respect is something that we often talk about but I've never really heard of a clear-cut definition of what it means. We've all heard the phrases, "respect your elders" or "respect is earned, not given". Now respecting your elders is something that seems to be widely recognized as being important, but what about the second phrase? Does respect have to be earned in order to receive it, or should we all give it to one another regardless? Well here's my opinion.

I think everyone should be given some form of respect based upon the fact that we are all human beings made in God's image. We are all here for a reason, and regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, social status, income, etc. we are all part of the same human race. Now of course, in our society there are people who are well-respected based on accomplishments they have done, whether they are a famous actor or athlete, or if they are in a well-paid profession such as being a doctor or lawyer. Or, you might highly respect people who have high moral values and are trustworthy.

However, there are always people who have lost the respect of society based upon bad things they have done, such as committing a crime or being known as a liar or cheater. In today's society, it's so much easier to quickly lose respect in the eyes of many thanks to social media, especially if you are a celebrity. We hold ourselves up to such high standards when it comes to respect, yet a lot of high-ranking celebrities and politicians tend to fail to meet these standards.

If there is one thing I've learned, is that being a highly respected person takes years to earn, but only seconds to lose. And good luck getting that respect back after you lose it. A lot of people are very unforgiving when it comes to feeling like they've lost trust in someone or something. But a very important thing in earning other people's respect is that you have to give them respect in return. Doing things like being polite, saying please and thank you, saying yes ma'am/sir, no ma'am/sir, goes a long way in terms of earning respect. Things like that have been neglected a lot nowadays since it seems like people have gotten more and more rude and don't really care about who they offend.

In conclusion, if you want respect you have to earn it. You will quickly lose respect by treating people rudely or by not giving respect in return. Respect is something that is most powerful when you actually earn it over time. However, it should be given to such things as morality, respecting the law, and being polite to one another.


Street Talk

Great article Roberto! A topic that is much needed to be considered and paid attention to in our societies!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you so much! :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Vernon L  

Most people who respect themself respect others. Also Reberto, you can earn respect again once it's lost but it takes time and more than saying I'm sorry. You much change your behavior. Good read!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you for reading Vernon!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

And yes, respecting yourself is so important! You gotta have self-respect.

  
  about 7 years ago

Very much agree with you Vernon.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Very thoughtful article Roberto, and I enjoyed it very much. We all need to be reminded from time to time - as I read the article, I was saying, "yes", "yes", "yes". Nice job!

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Haha thank you! It was actually a tough topic for me to take on, because it can be difficult to define what respect really is.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Anna Ware  

Everyone should have respect from the start. Then I might not respect everything that someone does that does not mean I don't respect them anymore. When people stop respecting someone for a little misstake that bthey have made I think the harsh judgment falls upon themselfs. Whom are we to judge before we stop making our own misstakes. Maybe we are perfect with our imperfections. We have to respect a persons freedom to do what they do that does not mean I agree or respect what they have done if I judge it to be wrong. @KaliWebb when people as you desribe in prisons put their respect into the strength and fighting abilities of others I belive they missinterpet respect for being frighten (probably a common missconception where some people grow up learning that they should respect abusive pears etc.). the respect in a prison when it comes to for instance streangth and fighting ability should be for that persons determination to exercise, train anl learning and then how he uses it for good or bad etc. Kali is also right in the mirrow effect, walk around with a sincere smile on your face and see the difference in how other people treat us :). This piece is excellent. You are a really good writer. Keep it up I'm looking foward to more brilliant articles from you.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Thank you so much! Yeah like I told Vivian, this was a challenging topic for me to take on because respect can be hard to define. It's extremely important to all of us, though. That's what I decided to write about it :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Kali Webb  

You are so wise for your years. My first teaching job was in a prison teaching business to convicted felons. Respect is a big deal in there and it often has to do with fighting abilities. How sad. I am a first name kind of guy and this was a real irritant to these 'respect' junkies. Military people tend to like to flash around their rank and if they don't have a high rank, they want you to call them Mr. or Miss. or something. I always resisted that. Anyway, in class I would take attendance and would call the students (inmates) by their first names. One person insisted I call him Mr. King (yes, King was actually his last name). I obliged his request and always referred to him as Mr. King. Everyone else I called John, or Tom, or whatever their first name happened to be. After about a month, Mr. King reconsidered his insistence on the Mr. moniker and asked if I would just refer to him as Tim. I was happy he recognized that you don't demand respect. I believe people are mirrors, in that we reflect back what we see. If someone is nice to us, we generally are nice to them and vice versa. If you don't like what you see in the mirror, then others won't like what they see either. Another great installment. You are quickly becoming my favorite author.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Wow what a cool story! And your kind words are very humbling! Writing is my passion and I would love to make a living out of it. I could seriously do this all day and it wouldn't even feel like work to me. I greatly appreciate you taking the time to read my articles. It means a lot to me. :)

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Kymee  

I agree with this whole hardly I will give every one respect but you are right in saying that it takes time for them to gain it back, if they do something to lose it. You made me think though I never put gain trust with forgiveness. but you are right they do go together. Hmmm Ok God is speaking to me here and it is ouch! For me respect is a very big thing. God bless Kymee

Reply
  about 7 years ago

That's funny that you said that God is speaking to you, because I feel like my gift of writing is a major blessing from God. Sometimes I don't even know how I come up with the stuff I do. It's all God-given talent, I would think. Nobody in my family is good at writing. For the most part, everyone is either good at art or they're good at working with their hands (such as being a mechanic). I feel like as long as I keep God first, I'll continue to be blessed with my writing and hopefully an opportunity will arise for me to make a living with it as opposed to my crummy office job lol.

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Kymee  

Just remember....No mater what you work for God. God can use you in all places and will if we say yes...; O) You are very good at writing Thank you

  
  about 7 years ago
Nancykaye  

Right on. It does work that way.

Reply
  about 7 years ago

Yes it does!

Reply
  about 7 years ago
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