Respect – What It Is – And What It Is NOT!
First and foremost, lets begin by understanding the Respect is EARNED, and can not be DEMANDED.
Just because YOU feel that you deserve what ever your definition of respect is. Doesn’t necessarily mean that for one, others know what your definition of respect is, or two, have any reason to assume that you DESERVE it.
As far as the first conclusion goes, everyone has a different idea of what respect actually consists of. But the truth is, about half of showing respect is in what you DON’T do, just as the other half is in what you DO.
Now as far as the second conclusion is concerned, we must understand that no two people think EXACTLY alike. What you might consider “respectful” my not be what another see’s as “respectful”.
In fact, the very action of assuming your definition of respect is the “correct” definition, and that others should as well adopt your definition, is in itself, disrespectful.
There are however, some things that can be viewed as inherently respectful, purely from the natural order of existence.
For example, how about, patience, tolerance, self control, as well as minding your OWN business.
Anyone who defines respect in a manner that would violate one of the above mentioned virtues is simply NOT expecting “respect” they are simply demanding compliance, and submission.
Submission, and compliance are obtained through FORCE And/Or FEAR, they are NOT products of respect.
As an example, lets consider the Greek civilization of Sparta.
Spartans were an excellent example of what “respect” should be considered. Their culture was interested only in perfecting THEMSELVES, and so they minded their own business. They were the epitome of the great words of Vegetius – “Those whom wish for peace, should prepare for war”. They trained extensively to perfect their self control, thereby ingraining in themselves an abundance of patience, and likewise obtained a stellar level of tolerance for those unlike themselves.
It was in this manner that they did indeed EARN the respect they were given. They would rather die than submit to any foreign rule, but they were still able to tolerate a foreign culture.
Respecting another individual does not mean you must “obey their rules” or “accept their opinion” it simply means you must tolerate those differences.
If anyone tries to force you to agree with their “definition” of respect, or declares that you have somehow “disrespected” them because you did not follow THEIR definition of “respect”, then it is NOT respect, it is ego. And one should have enough understanding to know the difference.
So how does one show respect?
Well, the best way to do so is to have enough patience, and self-control to tolerate different opinions, and mind you own business.
And anyone that tries to tell you that by doing so, you have done something wrong, is simply NOT respecting YOU, and therefore has not EARNED your respect.