First of all, I’d like to apologize for not publishing on here for the last three weeks or so… I had a rough couple of days and needed a little break. But I’m back, so let’s get to it! 🙂
It was someday during this week that I had started a 15 thread long LinkedIn argument with a leadership expert that was all on respect, trust, kindness etc.
More precisley, I was making a case for why respect should be earned rather than freely given to people.
She was in fury. Respect should NEVER be earned! Everyone deserves to be respected and it should be given to anyone!
I thought this was a good topic to put on this blog for today, as this argument, once again, showed how alienated most people are about what respect actually means, and thought I’d get it straight.
What is respect?
The Oxford Dictionary defines respect as;
‘A feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.’
If you look at other definitions, they more or less say the exact same thing, and all share one particular word… namely, admiration! Respect is therefore something we give to people who we look up to in a certain way, take into appreciation for something they have, we believe is admirable and so on…
I don’t think I have to keep explaining a lot at this point. The definition is pretty clear. But let’s focus on a couple of other things that need to be adressed…
#1 Is everyone is respectable?
If people say that all they want in life is to be happy, then technically what they are saying doesn’t mean anything. Why? Because there isn’t anybody who doesn’t want to be happy. You need to know what specifically makes you happy in order to progress.
Respect works the exact same way. By saying that everyone should be respected, we’re saying that everyone is admirable, and should be looked up to in some way or form.
But do you really look up to everyone in some or form? I don’t. I’m sure there are a good dozen of people we either know personally or have heard of, we would never admire even the slightest bit! Terrorists, shooters, people who destroy marriages, or people who cause immense pain in others…
I don’t think these people are respectable at all. Do you?
#2 Respect is misinterpreted
When we think of respect, many immediatley tend to think of general kindness or being polite to people. This however, has little to do with respect. You can be polite to people you don’t respect, just because you have some general manners. But that doesn’t mean you respect them. Remember the definition of respect?
Being polite to others when meeting someone new, is something any person with any common sense would support.
Let’s not confuse politeness with respect please.
I don’t think everyone should be respected, simply because not everyone is respectable. Kindness is great, and should always be given selflessley.
What do you think?
Thanks for reading,