For some reason I keep getting into trouble over Respect. I've had this problem my whole life. Teachers, bosses, friends, family, pastors, and anyone else I interact with tend to think I don’t show respect, or at least what they think respect is. That may be my biggest problem. My definition of “respect” is not in line with what most people in my country see it as… or maybe it’s just that they confuse or don’t know the definition of it themselves. I’m sure Webster’s Dictionary has some base definition that leaves lots of room for interpretation, but I’m not going to bother posting it, as people can look that up themselves.
To me, respect is showing people that you think they are worth something and that they are important to you. One can show respect by being helpful or giving complements, by being a friendly ear or a friendly kick in the ass when one is needed. People are respectful to those who have earned their respect or to people they’ve just met who they give the benefit of the doubt to until the respect is earned or lost.
Respect is not about giving needless complements to make someone happy (i.e. brown nosing). It’s not about refraining from complementing someone because someone else may be offended. It’s not about changing who you are to make others like you. Respect is not something you do only because it’s the polite thing to do, nor because others think its proper behavior.
Respect is given to by You to those who You think deserve it or those who may deserve it. I’m really tired of people wanting and expecting respect just because They think They deserve it! That’s not how it works, never has, never will. I’m also tired of people thinking I’m being disrespectful for saying something that is true, simply because those people think someone else is in a position to take offence at my statement. Since when has stating a Fact or a Truth become a sign of disrespect!? Just because someone has an issue with the truth or doesn’t think the person stating the fact or truth is in the proper position to state it doesn’t mean that person is being disrespectful!
Please, do me a favor. The next time someone does something you don’t like and you begin to tell them “it’s a matter of respect” Stop and think. Is it really about respect? Or is it just something your ego doesn’t want to deal with?