“Respect is reciprocal”

Is respect really reciprocal? Is it a “do me, I do you, God will not be vexed” kind of arrangement? If I perceive disrespect in someone’s attitude towards me, how should I react? Am I supposed to respect a person because of age, marital, financial or social status? Should I respect one person more than another?

These are questions.

These are issues.

Oftentimes, many have used this statement to validate their apparent lack of respect for others. It is sad enough that you refuse to show respect for another human being, but when such an axiom becomes justification for a lapse in character and moral strength, then we have a serious issue.

Every group of people has something refered to as a ‘respect culture’. That is, things that they do (or don’t do) to show respect to one another. Without going so far as to endorse or condemn any group’s respect culture, I’d simply like to state what I believe should be a good foundation for respect.

From my viewpoint and in my candid opinion, respect is simply a function of self-image and perception. How I relate with you shows, in principle, what I think about my self. If I respect myself, it will definitely reflect in my attitude towards every other person.

In a fundamental way,respect is not merely about outward display, but inward disposition. That inward disposition is then reflected in attitude.

Case in point: Sometimes parents forget that their children are not just children, but human beings too. Children deserve respect, even if only for the fact that they are expected to show it, and they learn majorly by example.

The fact that you are older than another person, or you pay their salary or school fees, or you’re richer, older, smarter or more good-looking than them does not mean you should treat them any worse than you expect them to treat you.

Q: What’s the best way to get respect?
A: Give it! Don’t demand it!

Don’t get it twisted. Respect is not reciprocal. Respect is reflective.

Dismiss the myth.


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