Respect Is Given, Not Earned

I recently was watching a TV show and one of the characters said the common saying, “Respect is earned.” I have heard this saying before, but for some reason this time,when I heard it, it really made me think. So, next I looked this saying up on the internet to make sure that I had heard this saying before, and I also wondered how many other people agreed with that saying.

Respecting someone means giving them honor, not judging them, setting them in high regard and wanting the best for them and their needs.

Respect= honor, admiration, esteem, privilege, benefit, regard

To my surprise, a lot of people think that respect is earned and not given. Honestly, I was blown away. I respect (key word respect) their decision to believe that and have that in there heart, but on the flip side I felt that I needed to write a blog post about what I believe-respect is given. Respect can easily be taken away, but it should always be given from the start.

First, if we do not give others respect from the moment we see them how are we supposed to receive that same respect. So many people these days talk about love and equality, but at the same time they are saying that respect is earned. How are we supposed to love people and hold everyone on the same level if we do not put everyone on that same pedestal in the beginning? How are we supposed to live in a place of peace (which most people want) and yet we tell people not to respect others from the first time they see a person, or from the first time they talk to someone? How are we supposed to honor each other and put others before yourself if we do not respect those people? These two ideas (love/equality and the fact that respect is earned)  are always circling in our society as morals for everybody and yet they contradict each other.

Second, society expects children to be nice and play nice with others, but how do you expect them to follow these expectations if you teach them that they first have to get respect before they give it.

Society expects our children to listen and obey their teachers (aka respect them) and yet they don’t. They don’t because they don’t see their parents respecting others (especially people they just meet). They don’t because they are being taught that those other people need to earn their respect-and earning respect can take a lot of time.

This thought could then venture into their future. They WILL be expected to listen, obey and respect their bosses and people who are in authority over them, but if they are getting fed this notion that their authority has to do something to earn the respect right away then it just sets the kids (now adults) up for failure because that is not how this world works.

I think it is comparable to shooting a gun and then after the fact, thinking who or what the target is-it is just not fair, right or moral (obviously this is much more of a direct and drastic result in this example, but it is similar-the problem is people don’t see that).

Another huge thing that is going on in our community is equality and I believe that everyone should be equal. We are all made the same-their is only one human race. You should treat everyone equally, we have all had trails in life that have made us act or look or be a certain way. No one should be judged right off the back.

For example, if you put a homeless man and a business man right next to each other you might have more respect for the business man right off the back. You might think he has done more and worked harder in life then the business man. In reality thought, the homeless man fought for your country and risked his life and because of PTSD he lost he job and home and ended up on the streets. Now, he is trying to put his life back together and is working his hardest. Where as the business man got handed a high pointed job in his fathers business. This business man did nothing by himself to get there. He also treats the people below him, people who his is the boss over, horribly.

My point with that whole story is that you don’t know the life someone has lived. This story could have easily been flipped to favor the business man and not the homeless man. Everyone deserves to be put on the same pedestal. Everyone should be treated as human and nothing less. 

I also want to say that just because you choose to respect someone, and treat them with dignity does not mean you can loose that respect in an instant. Honesty, this has happened to me and its okay-its more than okay, its life, but in order to make life and humanity better is to respect others. The reason this world is so corrupt (this among a few other key things) is because we do not respect others, we do not value their life and hold it at high regard. So from the start it is best to give someone the benefit of the doubt and then judge their character and make decisions for yourself about who they are. Without respect how do you have humility, patience and understanding towards others?

I encourage you to read the book ” Its Your Ship“. I have read this book twice and both times I was in awe. It made me think about leadership skills, how to respect and treat others and how so many people are underrated. As long as everyone works together (using their strengths) ‘your ship will run’ and not just run but thrive.

Disclaimer: this book does have a few explicit words and so if you are cautious about that cursing/swearing here is a warning. It is important to know that is just how most of those people speak and that is just their lifestyle. Thought there is some swear words, it is well worth the read! (Or I listened to it and that was even better!)

It is important also to remember respect and trust are two completely different things! Just because you respect someone does not mean you trust them! Just because you respect someone does not mean you will put your job, reputation or even life in there hands.  Soon I will write another post on trust and how that is and has to be earned in life.


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