Respect

[do action=”virtue” virtue=”Respect”/] [do action=”vfdictstart” title=”respect”/] [do action=”vfdictitem” contents=”esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for her judgment.”/] [do action=”vfdictitem” contents=”deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect’s right to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.”/] [do action=”vfdictitem” contents=”the condition of being esteemed or honored: to be held in respect. “/] [do action=”vfdictend”/]

Respect is honoring the worth or dignity in a person or process. When we respect others, we take their preferences and ideas seriously. We thoughtfully weigh our own insights and experiences against theirs. Respect is merited particularly by those who are our elders, because knowledge, insight and wisdom often are hard won through a lifetime of discipline and learning. Cultivating respect as a virtue does not mean insisting that all ideas, beliefs, or actions are respect-worthy. It does mean that we recognize the basic human dignity of others, even when their ideas or values are different than our own. A general attitude of respect also assumes that each person has something to teach us if we are willing to learn.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”To feed men and not to love them is to treat them as if they were barnyard cattle. To love them and not respect them is to treat them as if they were household pets.” author=”Mencius”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The secret of education is respecting the pupil.” author=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Respect commands itself and it can neither be given nor withheld when it is due.” author=”Eldridge Cleaver”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Before and after practicing Judo or engaging in a match, opponents bow to each other. Bowing is an expression of gratitude and respect. In effect, you are thanking your opponent for giving you the opportunity to improve your technique.” author=”Jigoro Kano”/]

Respect

Respect has great importance in everyday life. As children we are taught (one hopes) to respect our parents, teachers, and elders, school rules and traffic laws, family and cultural traditions, other people’s feelings and rights, our country’s flag and leaders, the truth and people’s differing opinions. And we come to value respect for such things; when we’re older, we may shake our heads (or fists) at people who seem not to have learned to respect them. We develop great respect for people we consider exemplary and lose respect for those we discover to be clay-footed, and so we may try to respect only those who are truly worthy of our respect. We may also come to believe that, at some level, all people are worthy of respect. We may learn that jobs and relationships become unbearable if we receive no respect in them; in certain social milieus we may learn the price of disrespect if we violate the street law: “Dis me, and you die.” Calls to respect this or that are increasingly part of public life: environmentalists exhort us to respect nature, foes of abortion and capital punishment insist on respect for human life, members of racial and ethnic minorities and those discriminated against because of their gender, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, or economic status demand respect both as social and moral equals and for their cultural differences. And it is widely acknowledged that public debates about such demands should take place under terms of mutual respect. We may learn both that our lives together go better when we respect the things that deserve to be respected and that we should respect some things independently of considerations of how our lives would go.

We may also learn that how our lives go depends every bit as much on whether we respect ourselves. The value of self-respect may be something we can take for granted, or we may discover how very important it is when our self-respect is threatened, or we lose it and have to work to regain it, or we have to struggle to develop or maintain it in a hostile environment. Some people find that finally being able to respect themselves is what matters most about getting off welfare, kicking a disgusting habit, or defending something they value; others, sadly, discover that life is no longer worth living if self-respect is irretrievably lost. It is part of everyday wisdom that respect and self-respect are deeply connected, that it is difficult if not impossible both to respect others if we don’t respect ourselves and to respect ourselves if others don’t respect us. It is increasingly part of political wisdom both that unjust social institutions can devastatingly damage self-respect and that robust and resilient self-respect can be a potent force in struggles against injustice.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.” author=”Albert Einstein”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Old age adds to the respect due to virtue, but it takes nothing from the contempt inspired by vice; it whitens only the hair.” author=”Ira Gershwin”/]

Teenagers’ lack of respect for adults

by Natalie Qabazard, a High School Senior

In contemporary America, it seems as though more and more teenagers are inclined to act disrespectfully toward adults. The notion that the youth must respect their elders has completely vanished. What has replaced this attitude is a sense of disobedience, noncompliance and rudeness. Some contributors include the lack of discipline from parents, the mimicking of friends’ attitudes toward adults and how the media portrays disrespectful teenagers as being hip.

Modern families contain parents who are more driven and focused on their careers and less focused on the success of their family. According to essortment.com, “Becoming a teenager brings with it a host of new emotions, attitudes and behaviors. As kids age 13 to 19 move from childhood to maturity, they often experiment with language to express their boundaries and talk back to parents in ways that are inappropriate. It then becomes the parents’ duty to instruct their children how to speak with respect to authorities.”

The problem arises when parents fail to teach their children the correct way of behaving toward adults. Once threats are made, the parents back down and the teenager feels powerful. Now, the teenager has control over the parent, causing the parent to feel weak and powerless.

Now more than ever, teens are mimicking the disrespectful and disobedient attitude, which their friends exhibit at school. This can mainly be seen between a student and a teacher. The same attitude that is being used toward parents is used against school officials. Schools should enforce more disciplinary action against these rude teens so as to make them pay for their lack of respect. As teenagers go about their daily lives, they observe others being rude to their friends and their parents, so they in turn do the same. The amount of peer pressure is increasing; therefore, it results in conforming to their peers’ expectations.

The media portrays disrespectful teenagers as being “cool” and therefore has contributed to this epidemic. We see more and more disrespectful teenagers on TV because it is entertaining to watch. However, this should not be at the expense of our future society’s behavior.

On the popular reality show “My Super Sweet Sixteen,” spoiled adolescent girls treat their parents with a lack of respect in order to get what they want. It is apparent, in this TV show, that the parents of these 16-year-olds only care about buying their children happiness when, in fact, the child feeds off of this carelessness and would like to take the power away from the parents and bring it upon themselves. By televising such acts, it is promoting these behaviors, hence more of it.

Teenagers must end this form of verbal abuse because if this behavior persists, America will form into a country filled with insolence. How would the remainder of the world esteem America if the president was arrogant, rude and disrespectful? America is known for its stature as a nation, filled with kind and respectful people. However, with the way that our generation proceeds into the future, that stature will likely plummet.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Be beautiful if you can, wise if you want to… But be respected, that is essential.” author=”Anna Gould”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The porcupine, whom one must handle gloved, May be respected, but is never loved.” author=”Arthur Guiterman”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and is important, in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not.” author=”Nathaniel Hawthorne”/]

The Concept of Respect

An attitude of respect is, most generally, a relation between a subject and an object in which the subject responds to the object from a certain perspective in some appropriate way. Respect necessarily has an object: respect is always directed toward, paid to, felt about, shown for some object. While a very wide variety of things can be appropriate objects of one kind of respect or another, the subject of respect (the respecter) is always a person, that is, a conscious rational being capable of recognizing and acknowledging things, of self-consciously and intentionally responding to them, of having and expressing values with regard to them, and of being accountable for disrespecting or failing to respect them. Though animals may love or fear us, only persons can respect and disrespect us or anything else. Respect is a responsive relation, and ordinary discourse about respect identifies several key elements of the response, including attention, deference, judgment, acknowledgment, valuing, and behavior. First, as suggested by its derivation from the Latin respicere, which means “to look back at” or “to look again,” respect is a particular mode of apprehending the object: the person who respects something pays attention to it and perceives it differently from someone who does not and responds to it in light of that perception. This perceptual element is common also to synonyms such as regard (from “to watch out for”) and consideration (“examine (the stars) carefully”). The idea of paying heed or giving proper attention to the object which is central to respect often means trying to see the object clearly, as it really is in its own right, and not seeing it solely through the filter of one’s own desires and fears or likes and dislikes. Thus, respecting something contrasts with being oblivious or indifferent to it, ignoring or quickly dismissing it, neglecting or disregarding it, or carelessly or intentionally misidentifying it. An object can be perceived by a subject from a variety of perspectives; for example, one might rightly regard another human individual as a rights-bearer, a judge, a superlative singer, a trustworthy person, or a threat to one’s security. The respect one accords her in each case will be different, yet all will involve attention to her as she really is as a judge, threat, etc. It is in virtue of this aspect of careful attention that respect is sometimes thought of as an epistemic virtue.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”A fool boasts of those who fear him; a wise man’s pride is those who respect him.” author=”Philip R. Breeze”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”There was no respect for youth when I was young, and now that I am old, there is no respect for age–I missed it coming and going.” author=”J. B. Priestly”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Respect for ones parents is the highest duty of civil life.” author=”Chinese Proverb”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”It is the safeguard of the strongest that he lives under a government which is obliged to respect the voice of the weakest.” author=”Robert Purvis”/]

Respect for Persons

People can be the objects or recipients of different forms of respect. We can (directive) respect a person’s legal rights, show (institutional) respect for the president by calling him “Mr. President,” have a healthy (obstacle) respect (respekt) for an easily angered person, (care) respect someone by cherishing her in her concrete particularity, (evaluatively) respect an individual for her commitment to a worthy project, and accord one person the same basic moral respect we think any person deserves. Thus the idea of respect for persons is ambiguous. Because both institutional respect and evaluative respect can be for persons in roles or position, the phrase “respecting someone as an R” might mean either having high regard for a person’s excellent performance in the role or behaving in ways that express due consideration or deference to an individual qua holder of that position. Similarly, the phrase “respecting someone as a person” might refer to appraising her as overall a morally good person, or to acknowledging her standing as an equal in the moral community, or to attending to her as the particular person she is as opposed to treating her like just another body. In the literature of moral and political philosophy, the notion of respect for persons commonly means a kind of respect that all people are owed morally just because they are persons, regardless of social position, individual characteristics or achievements, or moral merit. The idea is that persons as such have a distinctive moral status in virtue of which we have special categorical obligations to regard and treat them in ways that are constrained by certain inviolable limits. This is sometimes expressed in terms of rights: persons, it is said, have a fundamental moral right to respect simply because they are persons. And it is a commonplace that persons are owed or have a right to equal respect. It is obvious that we could not owe every individual evaluative respect, let alone equal evaluative respect, since not everyone acts morally correctly or has an equally morally good character. So, if it is true that all persons are owed or have a moral right to respect just as persons, then the concept of respect for person has to be analyzed as some form or combination of forms of recognition or reverential respect. For a variety of reasons, however, it is controversial whether we do indeed have a moral obligation to respect all persons, regardless of merit, and if so, why. There are disagreements, for example, about the scope of this claim, the grounds for respect, and the justification for the obligation. There is also a divergence of views about the kinds of treatment that are respectful of persons.

The most influential position on respect is found in the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant. Indeed, most contemporary discussions of respect for persons explicitly claim to rely on, develop, or challenge some aspect of Kant’s ethics. Central to Kant’s ethical theory is the claim that all persons are owed respect just because they are persons, that is, free rational beings. To be a person is to have a status and worth that is unlike that of any other kind of being: it is to be an end in itself with dignity. And the only response that is appropriate to such a being is respect. Respect (that is, moral recognition respect) is the acknowledgment in attitude and conduct of the dignity of persons as ends in themselves. Respect for such beings is not only appropriate but also morally and unconditionally required: the status and worth of person is such that they must always be respected. Because we are all too often inclined not to respect persons, not to value them as they ought to be valued, one formulation of the Categorical Imperative, which is the supreme principle of morality, commands that our actions express due respect for the worth of persons: “Act in such a way that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or the person of any other, never simply as a means but always at the same time as an end”. Our fundamental moral obligation, then, is to respect persons; morally right actions are thus those that express respect for persons as ends in themselves, while morally wrong actions are those that express disrespect or contempt for persons by not valuing them as ends in themselves. In addition to this general commandment, Kant argues that there are also more specific duties of respect for other persons and self-respect, to which we’ll return.

Everyday discourse and practices insist that respect is personally, socially, politically, and morally important, and philosophical discussions of the concepts bear this out. It’s role in our lives as individuals, as people living in complex relations with other people and surrounded by a plethora of other beings and things on which our attitudes and actions have tremendous effects, cannot be taken lightly.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Respect is love in plain clothes.” author=”Frankie Byrne”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never. In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common. This is to be my symphony.” author=”William Henry Channin”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Self-empowerment – that’s learning to respect other people’s music, but dance to your own tune as you master harmony within yourself.” author=”Doc Childre”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Whoever is admitted or sought for, in company, upon any other account than that of his merit and manners, is never respected there, but only made use of. We will have such-a-one, for he sings prettily; we will invite such-a-one to a ball, for he dances well; we will have such-a-one at supper, for he is always joking and laughing; we will ask another because he plays deep at all games, or because he can drink a great deal. These are all vilifying distinctions, mortifying preferences, and exclude all ideas of esteem and regard. Whoever is had (as it is called) in company for the sake of any one thing singly, is singly that thing, and will never be considered in any other light; consequently never respected, let his merits be what they will.” author=”Lord Chesterfield”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”A youth is to be regarded with respect. How do you know that his future will not be equal to our present?” author=”Confucius“/]

Blessed In Aging

by Esther Mary Walker

Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and shaking hand
Blessed, who know my ears today
Must strain to hear the things they say.

Blessed are those who seem to know
My eyes are dim and my mind is slow
Blessed are those who look away
When I spilled tea that weary day.

Blessed are they who, with cheery smile
Stopped to chat for a little while
Blessed are they who know the way
To bring back memories of yesterday.

Blessed are those who never say
“You’ve told that story twice today”
Blessed are they who make it known
That I am loved, respected and not alone.

And blessed are they who will ease the days
Of my journey home, in loving ways.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” author=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Our high respect for a well-read man is praise enough of literature.” author=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Men are respectable only as they respect.” author=”Ralph Waldo Emerson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”We may not return the affection of those who like us, but we always respect their good judgment.” author=”Libbie Fudim”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Man and his deed are two distinct things. Whereas a good deed should call forth approbation, and a wicked deed disapprobation, the doer of the deed, whether good or wicked always deserves respect or pity as the case may be.” author=”Mahatma Gandhi”/]

Basic Respect

Going back in time, respect played an important role in survival. If we think of a small tribe wandering in the desert we can imagine that a person not respected by anyone could be left behind and die. Such a person was considered to have no worth, no importance, no value to the group. This, I believe is the foundation of our psychological need to feel respected.

Nowadays it seems much more possible to survive without being respected. Someone could, for example, inherit a large sum of money, have many servants and employees and have salesmen constantly calling on him and catering to him, yet not be respected in the least. Someone could also make a lot of money through having a particular talent which is valued, such as being able to dunk a basketball yet not really be respected, perhaps because of the way he treats others.

Still, there is a value to respect which money can’t buy. Though someone’s life might not depend on it, there are times, many times in fact, when another person has the chance to make a personal decision – a judgment call. When that person feels sincere respect for someone else, they will make a different decision than if they feel no respect, even if they have customarily shown a false, pseudo-respect to the person.

We can all sense whether we are respected or not. This holds true for those with money and power as well. Moreover, it is quite possible that those who pursue money and power are actually trying to gain a type of respect that they never have truly felt.

When we are respected we gain the voluntary cooperation of people. We don’t have to use as much of our energy and resources trying to get our needs met. When people respect one another there are fewer conflicts. In summary, it is for both evolutionary and practical reasons that respect is important, and also why we simply feel better when we are respected.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”We never respect those who amuse us, however we may smile at their comic powers.” author=”Marguerite Gardiner”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom.” author=”F.a. Hayek”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”There is a secret pride in every human heart that revolts at tyranny. You may order and drive an individual, but you cannot make him respect you.” author=”William Hazlitt”/]

Respect Your Fellow Man

This happened on American airlines.

A 50-something year old white woman arrived at her seat and saw that the passenger next to her was a black man.

Visibly furious, she called the stewardess, ”What’s the problem, ma’am?” the stewardess asked her.

“Can’t you see?” the lady said – “I was given a seat next to a black man. I can’t sit here next to him. You have to change my seat.”

– “Please, calm down, madam” – said the stewardess.
“Unfortunately, all the seats are occupied, but I’m still going to check if we have any.”

The stewardess left and returned some minutes later.

“Madam, as I told you, there isn’t any empty seat in this class- economy class.
But I spoke to the captain and he confirmed that there are no empty seats left in the economy class. We only have seats in the first class.”

And before the woman said anything, the stewardess continued

“Look, it is unusual for our company to allow a passenger from the economy class change to the first class.
However, given the circumstances, the captain thinks that it would be a scandal to make a passenger travel having to sit next to an unpleasant person.”

And turning to the black man, the stewardess said:

“Which means, Sir, if you would be so nice to pack your handbag, we have reserved you a seat in first class…”

And all the passengers nearby, who were shocked to see the scene started applauding, some standing on their feet.”

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is.” author=”Hermann Hesse”/]

Showing and Earning Respect

Respecting someone means respecting their feelings and their survival needs. Here are ways to show respect for someone’s feelings:

  1. asking them how they feel
  2. validating their feelings
  3. empathizing with them
  4. seeking understanding of their feelings
  5. taking their feelings into consideration

Here are some specific ways to show respect:

  1. Asking others “How would you feel if…” before making a decision which affects them
  2. Voluntarily making changes and compromises to accommodate their feelings, desires and needs
  3. Not interrupting them
  4. Soliciting and allowing feedback. Trying to understand their beliefs, values and needs
  5. Giving them the opportunity to solve their own problems without underestimating them, in particular:
  6. Avoid telling them what to do
  7. Avoid telling them what they ‘need’ to or ‘should do
  8. Avoid giving them unsolicited advice, sermons and lectures
[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Everybody likes and respects self-made men. It is a great deal better to be made in that way than not to be made at all.” author=”Oliver Wendell Holmes”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”The hat is the ultimum moriens of respectability.” author=”Oliver Wendell Holmes”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”My constituency is the desperate, the damned, the disinherited, the disrespected and the despised.” author=”Jesse Jackson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness–That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive to these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such Principles and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. . . .” author=”Declaration of Independence of the United States of America”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” author=”Elizabeth Barrett Lao-Tzu”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”I must respect the opinions of others even if I disagree with them.” author=”Herbert Henry Lehman”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Respectable men and women content with good and easy living are missing some of the most important things in life. Unless you give yourself to some great cause you haven’t even begun to live.” author=”William P. Merrill”/]

A different kind of drug problem…

The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a met amphetamine lab had been found in an old farm house in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, ”Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?” I replied: ”But I did have a drug problem when I was a kid growing up on the farm.”

I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke ill of the teacher or the preacher. Or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four letter word. I was drug out to pull weeds in mom’s garden and flower beds and ragweed out of dad’s fields.

I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out some poor soul who had no one to mow the yard, repair the clothesline or chop some fire wood. And if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the wood shed.

Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin, and if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America might be a better place today.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”There is, nevertheless, a certain respect and a general duty of humanity that ties us, not only to beasts that have life and sense, but even to trees and plants.” author=”Michel de Montaigne”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is, and respect for what he may become.” author=”Louis Pasteur”/]

Respect, Handshakes, and Humanity Greetings

According to one anthropologist, the handshake evolved in medieval Europe, during the times of knights. It seems not all were knights were virtuous. More than a few would approach opponents with concealed weapons and when within striking distance pull out a dagger or a sword and plunge it into the unsuspecting opponent.

To fend off the fear of this kind of nasty business, knights took to offering their open and visibly empty hand to each other. It was a kind of surety, a gesture of trust which said, “See, I am unarmed, so you may safely let me approach.” As the story goes, soon the gesture itself took on meaning and the less noble, less lethal man on the street adopted the handshake as the proper way to greet others.

We do a lot of handshaking in the United States where we are outgoing, forceful, and externalized. We are unabashedly acquisitive, defining our progress in life by how much we have — how much wealth, influence, stored up knowledge, status or whatever. Every culture exhibits these traits to some extent, but there are several Eastern and South Pacific cultures where people are generally taught to be more introspective, more concerned with the quality of things than their quantity, more attuned with the interior spiritual life. In these cultures people do not shake hands when they meet. They may hug formally or kiss one another on the cheek, as in Eastern Europe and Arab states. They may bow softly, eyes turned to the ground, as in Japan and China. The Hawaiian greeting, termed “honi,” consists of placing the nostril gently beside that of the person greeted, a kind of sharing the breath of life. For Hindu(s) the greeting of choice is “Namaste,” the two hands pressed together and held near the heart with the head gently bowed as one says, “Namaste.” Thus it is both a spoken greeting and a gesture. The prayerful hand position is meant “to adorn, honor, celebrate or anoint.” Namaste means “I bow to you.” I am sure there are a lot of things going on in the heads of Americans when they shake hands, but I don’t think “I bow to you” is one of them.

It is always interesting, often revealing and occasionally enlightening to think about the everyday cultural traits and habits that evolve in different cultures around the globe. It is amazing how our little gestures can portray so much about how we view life and our fellow man.

By a handshake we Americans acknowledge our equality with others and not necessarily our “Respect”. We convey how strong we are, how nervous, how aggressive or passive. There is bold physicality to it, but it does very little to convey respect for each others humanity. For these and other reasons, Popes never shake hands. Kings never shake hands. Even mothers don’t shake hands with their own children. I think shaking hands is more about power than it is about humanity.

The humanity greetings of Namaste, kisses, and cheek touching for example, are quite different than handshakes. Kings Namaste, Guru(s) Namaste, nobles touch cheeks, and mothers kiss their own family. Just as many venerate
our God, a holy man or even a holy place, our humanity greeting bespeaks of our inner valuing of the sacredness of the humanity in everyone we meet. It reminds us in a graphic manner, that we can see a reflection of our own humanity in everyone we meet. It is saying, silently, “I recognize the humanity in us both, and bow with respect before it.”

Initiating even our most mundane encounters with a humanity greeting can change everything. Instead of being short with the people I love the most, I give more of myself to them. Instead of walking by the custodian in the hall, I give him a humanity greeting and take interest in his day. Instead of passing it off, I see the sadness in the cashier’s eyes and offer a kind word. I take the time to stop and “chat” with my neighbor instead of rushing off to the next thing on my Saturday to do list. I start to fill my life with conscious purposeful actions that respect humanity rather than honor a faceless schedule.

Try offering a humanity greeting instead of a handshake the next time the situation presents itself. You might get a strange look, but behind that look is a soul beaming in the light of the respect and honor you are giving them.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Respect is for you to walk in my shoes.” author=””/]

Teach your children respect.

One of the most important things you can teach your child is respect. Keep in mind that respect is not the same as obedience. Children might obey because they are afraid. If they respect you, they will obey because they know you want what’s best for them. The best way to teach respect is to show respect. When a child experiences respect, they know what it feels like and begin to understand how important it is. Keep in mind the saying “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Respect is an attitude. Being respectful helps a child succeed in life. If children don’t have respect for peers, authority, or themselves, it’s almost impossible for them to succeed. A respectful child takes care of belongings and responsibilities, and a respectful child gets along with peers. Parents have the most influence on how respectful children become. Until children show respect at home, it’s unlikely they will show it anywhere else.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Old age adds to the respect due to virtue, but it takes nothing from the contempt inspired by vice; it whitens only the hair.” author=”J. P. Senn”/]

Respect: It’s a Two-Way Street

By Colleen Kettenhofen

Respect and leadership go hand-in-hand. Effective leaders base their leadership on respect and trust. However, those who have honed their leadership skills know it’s not just about garnering respect from your employees; respect truly is a two-way street.

What is Respect?

According to Merriam-Webster, you respect someone when you hold them in high regard or esteem. People you respect are people you admire either for their accomplishments, their knowledge and/or their position. Those you respect have some quality you find valuable.

Why is Respect So Important to Effective Leadership?

To understand why respect is so important to effective leadership, let’s take a look at the primary difference between “managers” and “leaders.”

  • Managers tell employees what to do.
  • Leaders inspire employees to take actions.

People will not willingly follow or be inspired by a person they do not respect. If someone doesn’t feel you have the knowledge or other qualities they should value, and even emulate, why would they follow your lead, unless their was some other incentive (a paycheck) or punishment (loss of a job)? They wouldn’t!

Effective Leaders Give Respect to Get Respect

Although your employees may respect you for what you’ve accomplished or even simply because of your position, that respect will be short-lived if they feel you have little to no respect for them! Think about it for a moment.

If your boss didn’t value your opinion, appreciate the hard work you do, or didn’t acknowledge the experience and expertise you bring to your position, it would be very hard for you to respect them. You’d likely begin to question their competence, if they couldn’t see your value. It’s not surprising that you’d lose respect for them.

3 Ways You Can Build Respect from Your Employees, by Showing Respect

  1. Make yourself available. Leaders who are accessible show that they care about their employees and their thoughts and opinions. Take this beyond the typical “open door policy” and actively seek out your employees for face time.
  2. Instruct what to do, not how to do it. Show your employees you trust their judgment in coming up with the best course of action in how to complete a task. Doing so, shows them you respect their opinion and expertise.
  3. Address concerns in a timely manner. Listening to the concerns of your employees and taking them seriously shows you respect their thoughts and concerns. This builds trust your employee has in you.
[do action=”vfquote” quote=”That man is successful who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much, who has gained the respect of the intelligent men and the love of children; who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who leaves the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it; who looked for the best in others and gave the best he had.” author=”Robert Stevenson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Men naturally despise those who court them, but respect those who do not give way to them.” author=”Thucydides”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”He who does not have the courage to speak up for his rights cannot earn the respect of others.” author=”René G. Torres”/]

What is respect?

Respect is loving.

Respect is understanding and acting honestly to others.

Respect is doing the right thing.

Respect is understanding other’s differences.

Respect is behaving responsibly with others in mind.

Respect is keeping an open mind.

Respect is forgiving.

Respect is understanding how your actions impact others.

Being kind to others’ values and opinions.

Treating others well despite anything because you don’t know their situation.

Treating others as you would like to be treated and being open to all different ideas.

It means learning to listen to others even when their opinion doesn’t match your own.

Being able to express yourself and not being judged because of it.

Respect means showing care and not judging people.

Respect means treating each other with dignity and accepting everyone for their differences!

Respect means taking the time to realize that everyone sees and experiences the world in a unique way. Once you realize these differences you can make efforts to respect people in the way they feel respected.

When we’re young, we’re taught respect. We’re taught not to interrupt our peers, listen to our teachers, and be polite to everyone. But as we grow up, this definition is often forgot as we rarely show consideration for our peers who have different values and viewpoints. We lack in appreciation for those who teach us. We are rarely gracious to those who impact our lives. We might think those basic principles taught to us at an early age hardly defines respect, but they really do. Respect is given when we listen to differing viewpoints, when we thank someone, when we appreciate, when we treat others with the same consideration. Respect is something we need to give in order to receive.

Respect is slowing down and taking the time to understand each other.

One must acknowledge and appreciate both the social and individual identities of others to truly have a sense of respect i.e. the socially ascribed characteristics such as race, religion, and gender are integral to be aware of aside from and in relation to those attributes generally deemed to be a manifestation of personal quality.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”In the restaurant, the elderly gentleman had just been served his food, and he bowed to offer silent thanks. To the young roughs at an adjoining table, this was a very funny thing, and one of them just had to show-out for his peers. When the old man lifted his head, one of the young men called to him: ”Hey Pops, do they all do that where you come from?” The old man answered: ”No, son. THE PIGS DON’T.”” author=”Bill Jackson”/]

On Respecting Authority

We are living in a time when a great many people have little or no respect for authority. Our jails are full of those who do not respect the authority of our government. We have many children in our world today who do not respect the authority of their parents or elders. In order to survive this stormy world, we need to be able to recognize authority. Here is a short story that clearly illustrates the importance of recognizing authority.

The captain on the bridge of a large naval vessel saw a light ahead on a collision course. He signaled, “Alter your course ten degrees south.” The reply came back, “Alter your course ten degrees north.”

The captain then signaled, “Alter your course ten degrees south. I am a captain.” The reply: “Alter your course ten degrees north. I am a seaman third-class.”

The furious captain signaled, “Alter your course ten degrees south. I am a battleship.” The reply: “Alter your course ten degrees north. I am a lighthouse.”

If we do not recognize where true authority lies – then we will be making many wrong decisions in this life.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Every fairly intelligent person is aware that the price of respectability is a muffled soul bent on the trivial and the mediocre.” author=”Walter Lippmann”/]

Teaching Kids to Respect Sports Coaches

By Jack Perconte

It would be great if all youth sport coaches were caring, knowledgeable, fun, positive and fair. Most youth coaches do not possess all of these qualities and parents should not expect them to. After all, most youth coaches are often untrained, volunteer coaches that are parents of players on the team.

Often, youth coaches have a lasting influence on kids’ lives, positive or negative. When kids have coaches that have all of the above desired characteristics, parents should feel extremely fortunate. With this in mind, the importance of coaches, even for very young children should not be underestimated.

More common, in youth sports, is having coaches who have a few of the above qualities. When coaches are deficient in some area, it is usually noticeable to parents and/or athletes. This is when problems often begin to arise in youth sports. When unhappiness begins to percolate amongst players, parents or both, negative feelings are created that lead to negative situations in youth sports. When unhappiness with youth coaching escalates, things often get out of hand and lead to unpleasant situations.

Unhappiness with a coach often is expressed when parents or young athletes begin to complain about coaches in front of each other, or to others. Before you know it, negativity seems to permeate everyone’s attitude.

Positive parenting in sports is all about parents teaching their kids to respect their coaches, even when coaches have shortcomings. Additionally, parents should not allow their kids to “trash talk” their coach. Bad mouthing a coach reflects badly on youth and on adults who allow it. The good news is that many of these escalating situations can be avoided. Parents who are aware of this bad mouthing and disrespect of coaches can and should put a stop to it before it gets out of hand.

This is not meant to say that some negative coaching situations do not exist, have merit or need parents’ attention. Often, there is a legitimate gripe, but it the point is that parents should not put young athletes in the middle of it and it is no reason that parents should allow their kids to disrespect their coach.

How to nip this type behavior in the bud:

  1. Parents should have the perspective that volunteer coaches are just that and that coaches should be appreciated for donating their valuable time to help kids. Reminding their kids of the same is the first step to having kids respect coaches.
  2. Parents should not expect coaches to be great communicators or have “expert” knowledge. Those type coaches are usually only exist at the higher levels of sport.
  3. Parents should understand that coaches are doing their best with the limited training they have.
  4. Parents and athletes should give coaches time to prove themselves. First impressions are often wrong, and over time, everyone will begin to appreciate what their coach brings to the table.

Additionally, it is important that parents use negative coaching situations as teaching moments and not as totally negative experiences. Explaining to kids that they will encounter many types of influence in their lives, and not all good ones, but that it is important that they show adults respect through it all is positive parenting.

This is not meant to say that parents should not talk with and listen to their child’s complaints about their coach. Kids should be encouraged to express their feelings to their parents but also be encouraged to keep their concerns between parents and child. It serves no purpose to allow kids to be disrespectful towards authority figures and to bad mouth their coaches publicly. More often than not, the child’s concerns are just “kids being kids” and not very serious matters. Other times, it is a sign of a frustrated athlete. As long as a coach is not abusive in any way, parents should help kids deal with their concerns and, at the same time, encourage them to respect their coach.

Along the same lines, parents should keep any coaching concerns to themselves, not speak badly of the coach in front of their kids and show the appropriate respect, also. When parents state discontent about the coach, it gives kids the message that it is all right to bad-mouth the coach. Parents should keep negative comments about their kid’s coach to themselves or to address the coach with their concerns when they feel it is appropriate.

In conclusion, parents should bring their kids up to respect their coaches and that bad-mouthing the coach is unacceptable behavior.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me . . . All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” author=”Jackie Robinson”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”. . . what women want is what men want. They want respect.” author=”Marilyn vos Savant”/]

A Story About Respecting the Elderly

Velan was a carpenter. He was living in a village. His mother dies a long time back. His aged father, Kuppan, lived with Velan. Kuppan was very weak. He could not even walk well. He was so weak. It was because Velan did not give him enough food. He had given his father a small earthen plate. Even a small quantity of rice in the plate appeared to be much. Velan was a bad man. He was a drunkard also. After taking drinks, he abused his father badly.

Velan had a son. His name is Muthu. Muthu was just ten years old. He was a very good boy. He loved his grandfather. He had great respect for his grandfather. He did not like his father’s attitude and character, because his father was treating his grandfather cruelly.

One day Kuppan was eating his food out of earthen plate that his son had given to him. The earthen plate fell down. The plate broke into pieces. The food also fell on the floor. Velan was working at the other end of the room. He saw the broken plate. He was very angry with his father and used very harsh words to abuse his father. The old man felt bad about what happened. He was sorry for his mistake. Velan’s words wounded him very deeply.

Velan’s son, Muthu, saw this. He did not like his father. His father was ill-treating his grandfather. He was afraid to speak against his father. He was sad about his grandfather. But he was not powerful to stand in support of his grandfather.

The next day Muthu took some of his father’s carpentry tools and a piece of wood. He worked with the tools to make a wooden plate. His father saw him working.

“What are you making, Muthu?” he asked.

“I am making a wooden plate!” replied Muthu.

“A wooden plate! What for?” asked his father.

“I am making it for you, father. When you grow old, like my grandfather, you will need a plate for food. A plate made from earth mat break very easily. Then I may scold you severely. So, I want to give you a wooden plate. It may not break so easily.”

Cranky Old Man

By Dave Griffith

What do you see nurses? . . .. . .What do you see?
What are you thinking .. . when you’re looking at me?
A cranky old man, . . . . . .not very wise,
Uncertain of habit .. . . . . . . .. with faraway eyes?
Who dribbles his food .. . … . . and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice . .’I do wish you’d try!’
Who seems not to notice . . .the things that you do.
And forever is losing . . . . . .. . . A sock or shoe?
Who, resisting or not . . . … lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding . . . .The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?. .Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse .you’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am . . . . .. As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding, .. . . . as I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of Ten . .with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters .. . . .. . who love one another
A young boy of Sixteen . . . .. with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now . . .. . . a lover he’ll meet.
A groom soon at Twenty . . . ..my heart gives a leap.
Remembering, the vows .. .. .that I promised to keep.
At Twenty-Five, now . . . . .I have young of my own.
Who need me to guide . . . And a secure happy home.
A man of Thirty . .. . . . . My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other . . .. With ties that should last.
At Forty, my young sons .. .have grown and are gone,
But my woman is beside me . . to see I don’t mourn.
At Fifty, once more, .. …Babies play ’round my knee,
Again, we know children . . . . My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me . . . . My wife is now dead.
I look at the future … . . . . I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing .. . . young of their own.
And I think of the years . . . And the love that I’ve known.
I’m now an old man . . . . . . .. and nature is cruel.
It’s jest to make old age . . . . . . . look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles .. .. . grace and vigour, depart.
There is now a stone . . . where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass . A young man still dwells,
And now and again . . . . . my battered heart swells
I remember the joys . . . . .. . I remember the pain.
And I’m loving and living . . . . . . . life over again.
I think of the years, all too few . . .. gone too fast.
And accept the stark fact . . . that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, people .. . . . .. . . open and see.
Not a cranky old man .
Look closer . . . . see .. .. . .. …. . ME!!

Respect, Handshakes, and Humanity Greetings

According to one anthropologist, the handshake evolved in medieval Europe, during the times of knights. It seems not all were knights were virtuous. More than a few would approach opponents with concealed weapons and when within striking distance pull out a dagger or a sword and plunge it into the unsuspecting opponent.

To fend off the fear of this kind of nasty business, knights took to offering their open and visibly empty hand to each other. It was a kind of surety, a gesture of trust which said, “See, I am unarmed, so you may safely let me approach.” As the story goes, soon the gesture itself took on meaning and the less noble, less lethal man on the street adopted the handshake as the proper way to greet others.

We do a lot of handshaking in the United States where we are outgoing, forceful, and externalized. We are told
We are unabashedly acquisitive, defining our progress in life by how much we have — how much wealth, influence, stored up knowledge, status or whatever. Every culture exhibits these traits to some extent, but there are several Eastern and South Pacific cultures where people are generally taught to be more introspective, more concerned with the quality of things than their quantity, more attuned with the interior spiritual life. In these cultures people do not shake hands when they meet. They may hug formally or kiss one another on the cheek, as in Eastern Europe and Arab states. They may bow softly, eyes turned to the ground, as in Japan and China. The Hawaiian greeting, termed “honi,” consists of placing the nostril gently beside that of the person greeted, a kind of sharing the breath of life. For Hindu(s) the greeting of choice is “Namaste,” the two hands pressed together and held near the heart with the head gently bowed as one says, “Namaste.” Thus it is both a spoken greeting and a gesture. The prayerful hand position is meant “to adorn, honor, celebrate or anoint.” Namaste means “I bow to you.” I am sure there are a lot of things going on in the heads of Americans when they shake hands, but I don’t think “I bow to you” is one of them.

It is always interesting, often revealing and occasionally enlightening to think about the everyday cultural traits and habits that evolve in different cultures around the globe. It is amazing how our little gestures can portray so much about how we view life and our fellow man.

By a handshake we Americans acknowledge our equality with others and not necessarily our “Respect”. We convey how strong we are, how nervous, how aggressive or passive. There is bold physicality to it, but it does very little to convey respect for each other’s humanity. For these and other reasons, Popes never shake hands. Kings never shake hands. Even mothers don’t shake hands with their own children. I think shaking hands is more about power than it is about humanity.

The humanity greetings of Namaste, kisses, and cheek touching for example, are quite different than handshakes. Kings Namaste, Guru(s) Namaste, nobles touch cheeks, and mothers kiss their own family. Just as many venerate our God, a holy man or even a holy place, our humanity greeting bespeaks of our inner valuing of the sacredness of the humanity in everyone we meet. It reminds us in a graphic manner, that we can see a reflection of our own humanity in everyone we meet. It is saying, silently, “I recognize the humanity in us both, and bow with respect before it.”

Initiating even our most mundane encounters with a humanity greeting can change everything. Instead of being short with the people I love the most, I give more of myself to them. Instead of walking by the custodian in the hall, I give him a humanity greeting and take interest in his day. Instead of passing it off, I see the sadness in the cashier’s eyes and offer a kind word. I take the time to stop and “chat” with my neighbor instead of rushing off to the next thing on my Saturday to do list. I start to fill my life with conscious purposeful actions that respect humanity rather than honor a faceless schedule.

Try offering a humanity greeting instead of a handshake the next time the situation presents itself. You might get a strange look, but behind that look is a soul beaming in the light of the respect and honor you are giving them.

[do action=”vfquote” quote=”Leadership is a two-way street, loyalty up and loyalty down. Respect for one’s superiors; care for one’s crew.” author=”Grace Murray Hopper”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”Man learns more readily and remembers more willingly what excites his ridicule than what deserves esteem and respect.” author=”George Horace”/] [do action=”vfquote” quote=”We can not expect to breed respect for law and order among people who do not share the fruits of our freedom.” author=”Hubert H. Humphrey”/]

HOW TO TREAT OTHERS WITH RESPECT

Treating people with respect makes your world a nicer place to live in, whether it’s at home, at school, or out in your community. And it’s easy – all you have to do is treat people the way you like to have them treat you. Here are a few ideas.

  • Don’t insult people or make fun of them.
  • Listen to others when they speak.
  • Value other people’s opinions.
  • Be considerate of people’s likes and dislikes.
  • Don’t mock or tease people.
  • Don’t talk about people behind their backs.
  • Be sensitive to other people’s feelings.
  • Don’t pressure someone to do something he or she doesn’t want to do.

We live in a diverse nation made up of many different cultures, languages, races, and backgrounds. That kind of variety can make all our lives a lot more fun and interesting, but only if we get along with each other. And to do that we have to respect each other. In addition to the list above, here are some ways we can respect people who are different from us.

  • Try to learn something from the other person.
  • Never stereotype people.
  • Show interest and appreciation for other people’s cultures and backgrounds.
  • Don’t go along with prejudices and racist attitudes.
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of respectful behavior.
  • Become aware of the many ways in which they show both respect and disrespect toward each other.
  • Adopt a value for treating people respectfully.
  • Learn to appreciate people’s differences rather than fear them.
  • Become interested in learning more about their own roots and those of their schoolmates.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS ABOUT RESPECT

  1. Agree or disagree: It’s okay to insult or make fun of people as long as they don’t hear it.
  2. What are some common signs of disrespect that you see in people here at school? How do you feel about that?
  3. What do you dislike most about the way people treat each other here at school? What do you like the most? Why do you feel that way?
  4. Are there a lot of put-downs here at school? Are put-downs a sign of disrespect? How, in what way?
  5. Is there a difference between a put-down and an insult? What’s the difference?
  6. Do you have to like a person in order to be respectful, or can you be respectful to someone even if you don’t particularly care for him or her?
  7. When you’re with a group of kids, what things might other people do or say that make you feel good? What things make you feel bad?
  8. Do you think there is racism here at school? How is it expressed? How does that make you feel?
  9. Have you, personally, ever experienced racism or some other type of prejudice? What happened? How did it make you feel?
  10. Do the kids in your school tend to stay within their own racial and ethnic groups, or do they mix. Why do you think that happens here?
  11. Several of the kids in the video commented that they feel pressure to stay with their own kind rather than mixing. Do you find the same pressures here at your school?
  12. Do you think people are afraid of differences sometimes? Can you give some examples? Why do you think that’s true?
  13. Is it harder to respect someone who is very different from us? Why?
  14. What are the benefits of having friends who are different from us?
  15. Have you ever learned something new about a different culture from a friend?
  16. How well do you kids know each other? What things stand in the way of getting to know people better?
  17. What responsibilities do you feel you have toward your classmates?
  18. Is it ever okay to treat another person with disrespect?
  19. What are the benefits of treating people with respect?
  20. The kids in this video said they think everybody is entitled to be treated with respect. Do you agree?
  21. What was most meaningful to you in this video?
  22. Did anybody in this video say anything you disagree with? What would you say to that person?