It seems to me that there is a lot more to respect than giving it. In other words, respect is really a give and take situation. I found that part of giving respect is receiving it back in return. If a person continues to give respect without receiving it in return I call this blind respect. My experience is that blind respect is a waste of time. It’s like flushing money down the toilet thinking its going to help you in some way. It doesn’t. Its the same with respect.
If a person feels they are not being given respect it can cause many dark deep feelings. Often, these simmer, like a pot of soup, and create tensions. A person can feel ‘slighted’, insulted, humiliated, treated badly, degraded, neglected, downplayed, ridiculed, etc. It can cause tensions between people that may last for years. Some people may develop a hatred, or a contempt, or a dislike. It can also make some people feel depressed and can affect self esteem. It’s apparent that feeling that respect is not returned can cause great pain and problems for a person.
How a person believes they receive respect in return is very critical as a result. I see a number of ways we perceive respect is being given to us:
– We see it as an obvious act. For example, you say “hi” to someone and they say “hi” in return. That simple greeting shows respect between people.
– When it is based in a belief system. For example, the belief that god does things for us.
– An understanding that, even though it may not seem like it, there is a respectfullness in things.
It seems to me that much of receiving respect is based in a belief system somewhere down the line. This seems to be the biggest factor with respect. The lack of a belief system tends to undermine respect. This shows how important belief is in relation to respect. In a way, a belief system gives the ‘stamp of approval’ to respect. Even socially, if things are not done a certain way it can be interpreted as disrespectful, even though that was not the intention. With a belief system respect is given a form and shape. It is given a use and a purpose. In many ways, belief makes respect what it is and makes it so important. As a result, it can be more important to show respect according to the belief system than as an obvious act.
But I’ve found that many people expect respect to be returned in an obvious way. This point of view seems especailly prevalent in ‘advanced’, scientific, and intellectually based societies (such as in the west). People who tend to be brought up in a society with a belief system (such as the older cultures) generally are more likely to see respect in things, it seems.
But what this shows is that a lot of respect is not done in an obvious way but in other ways, generally based in belief. In other words, there is more to ‘receiving’ respect than in receiving it. Receiving respect depends a lot on ourselves, how we view things, our attitude, and our belief system. In short, to receive respect a person must be receptable to it. If a person isn’t receptable to it, then they don’t see any respect returned. Perhaps we can speak of this as ‘respect blind’? In general, the modern world seems ‘respect blind’ and it’s like a disease in that people cannot see the respect given to them.
Because of this, it is a good thing, I think, to learn to be receptable to respect. In actuality, if a person looks they will find there is more given to them than it seems at first. Here’s some thoughts on being receptable to the receiving of respect:
– Develop attitudes and beliefs that foster a respectful attitude. As I said above, belief is very critical to respect. This means it is wise to develop a belief system that supports this viewpoint. This belief system must entail an apprehension of things.
– Learn to see respect in things. A lot of times we don’t feel respect is given to us because we just don’t see it. Much of the problem with government, and why people are always upset with it, is that it seems to not give respect in return. That’s how it often seems. We pay taxes and such and seem to get nothing for it, or are treated badly in some way. This same situation often works in respect to god. Many people don’t believe in god because they see no respect returned. Many social situations are determined by the giving and receiving of respect. These examples show the criticalness and importance in learning to receive respect. Only be sitting back, looking, and reflecting can on these things can a person see how much is given to them. Sometimes thats what a person must do: Stand back, take a look, and discover how much is really happening.
Now, I do feel that some respect needs to be earned. That is to say, there are situations where a person must earn their respect. Oftentimes, giving people respect blindly makes many people spoiled-like. The ones who taught me this were the females. I see all these guys sucking up to them all day and what does it do: makes them bratish. In these cases I tend to feel that a person should not give respect unless they receive it.