Respect is Tricky
Have Some Respect! Show Respect! I Deserve Respect! I’m sure you’ve heard, thought, or seen statements like those. I certainly have. But respect—or the lack of—causes many problems. Families have been torn apart by feuds when members felt they were disrespected. Countless children have been punished for acting disrespectfully to their parents, teachers, or other authority figures. Employees have lost their jobs over issues of respect. Some people even get violently upset if they don’t get respect. In fact, throughout history dictators and tyrants have routinely executed people who failed to show them respect.
Is it really worth that much pain?
The truth is, only you can decide if respect is worth creating chaos and discord in your life. But first we must understand what it really is and where its roots lie.
Here’s Merriam-Webster’s definition of Respect:
- A feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.
- A feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way.
Let’s look at the definition, hear its meaning, and feel the concepts. When we think someone or something is good, valuable, or important we’re naturally going to feel respect for that person or thing. So respect for that person or thing is an expected outgrowth of the value we think they or it have in our lives. When we feel that level of regard for a person or thing we’re certainly going to treat them or it in an appropriate way. Once again, when high esteem comes from within us we behave accordingly without external force or coercion.
And that’s how it should be. True respect isn’t something that can be forced out of us, or that we can force from others. When its outward appearance comes from force or compulsion, it’s really disguised fear we’re seeing. And that’s totally different because it isn’t a behavior intrinsically manifesting as a result of value received, it’s a behavior manifesting from fear of punishment or harm.
So why do people get upset when they aren’t getting respect or when something or someone they think deserves respect isn’t getting it?
Ego. I know. That little word keeps popping up in our lives. It’s a dichotic beast that both serves and plagues us as we learn to coexist peacefully with it.
When we—or others—feel disrespected we’re really feeling that we deserve to be treated as someone that is good, valuable, or important to the person or persons showing us disrespect. It’s clear isn’t it? Feeling disrespected can only come from feeling inadequate and seeking external validation of our personal worth. And when we feel angry because another person or thing isn’t getting the respect—we think—it deserves, that’s ego too because we’re feeling threatened that another doesn’t find the same value in the person or thing that we do.
But that brings up two very important questions.
- Are we truly providing the value necessary to foster feelings of respect from others?
- If we are providing that level of value, do we truly deserve respect?
Consider this: Does anyone truly deserve respect?
If respect is the natural result of the perceived value added to someone’s life then there’s no deserving involved. The concept of deserving means I’ve done this and therefore must receive that in exchange. Or it can mean because I am who I am, you should give me that—based solely on the merits of who I am. You, of course, understand the flaws in this thinking.
Respect is a river of added value flowing through the lives of those who feel it. If the value ceases then the waters feeding respect eventually cease to flow. When that happens it’s up to the recipient of the value to either hold onto their feelings of respect or let them wither. But the key is it’s up to them. You cannot force another to feel respect for you or something you hold in high regard because you cannot force others to feel anything. Their feelings are based on their thoughts and choices, and while perhaps influenced by your actions aren’t created by them.
So the next time you feel disrespected, ask yourself, “Am I truly providing the value necessary to receive their respect?” And even better, remember that no one truly deserves respect. How can they? It’s is a gift. If you receive it, wonderful! If you don’t, that’s okay! Go on living your life as best you can and let others decide how they feel about your value because in the end it’s up to them.
You Are The Master of Your Destiny!
#Respect #InnerPeace #Deserve #PersonalTransformation