I’ve had Ms. Franklin’s song running through my head for the past few days. Not only because it’s catchy, but also because it addresses something I’ve been thinking a lot about over the past few weeks…respect.
In the healthy living blog world, we read a lot about respecting our bodies and our health, but that’s not what I’m referring to. The kind of respect I’m talking about has to do with the people in our lives and the relationships that connect us together.
I truly believe that those who give respect deserve respect. I don’t, however, think that people should expect respect simply because they are older, more educated, hold a high-ranking position, etc.
For example, in the Indian culture, we are told to always respect our elders. This is all good, but what happens when the elders don’t show respect for others? What happens when they don’t take into account what others are thinking and feeling? Do you still have to give them your respect? I would have to say no.
I’m pretty much going against everything I was taught as a kid, but in my heart, I believe that respect is earned. You earn respect by treating people with kindness; you earn respect by building trusting relationships; you earn respect by listening and understanding; you earn respect by being open and honest; you earn respect by choosing your words and actions carefully; you earn respect by seeing people for what they are…human beings. These are all the things I give my respect to others for. And interestingly, not one has to do with age, gender, occupation, etc.
I’m not in any way trying to say that I’m perfect because I’m not. I’m a work in progress like everyone else. However, the more I experience, the more I believe that respect is a two way street – you really do get what you give.
That Aretha knew what she was talking about, huh!? Have a great night!
Do you agree that respect must be earned and not expected? What does respect look like for you?