Earning respect

Do you find it hard to respect someone when someone doesn’t give you the respect back? I believe respect is not a given, it’s something we must constantly work at. It needs to be earned by each of us, particularly where culture is involved.

We’re taught as children to respect others, but others need to respect us too, regardless of culture or beliefs.

So how does it work?

Respect is based on a mutual understanding of other people’s values and practices within the framework of our cultures. Being informed about someone’s culture allows us to be respectful of that person.

We need to know enough about other people’s values and practices to understand why those values are so important and why we must respect their practices, faith and beliefs. It’s particularly difficult in families and communities, because often those who practice don’t always tolerate those who don’t.

Society has become diverse and we have become more divided on faith, but we must continue to show tolerance. Tolerance allows us to ignore the values and practices of others, but allows us to live along side those who continue to believe and practice their values, even if we choose not to practice.

It’s easier for someone who doesn’t practice, to tolerate and respect someone who does; more than someone who practices, to tolerate and respect someone who doesn’t. My own thought is that we should respect other people, regardless of culture and beliefs.  Asking how someone is, or being a good listener is all that it takes to show someone you respect them.

If that is the case, what has respect got to do with culture?


18 Apr, 2012

8 thoughts on “Earning respect

  1. It’s always a very hard thing to earn someone’s respect if they don’t show you the same courtesy.

    I grew up in a world where my parents expected us to respect them, but they treated us very badly at times and we had to just accept it.

    This has made it very hard for me to respect others without a major effort on their part. I’m trying to learn how to change that, but it has taken quite a bit of time for this to improve.

    I’m hoping that things will change in the very near future.

    1. I totally agree with you one hundred per cent. I believe you’re right, although from my experience culture does get in the way and shouldn’t.

  2. I think both you and Bill are right. Respect shouldn’t depend on culture… but unfortunately it often does.

    Certain cultures are very biased towards males and women are often second class citizens never receiving the respect they are due.

    Respect is earned and should depend on being a good person.

    1. I agree. I have seen first hand, how culture plays its part.

      I believe there is no harm anyone holding on to their beliefs, but those beliefs should incorporate how we treat and respect other people. The problem is that religion and its traditions don’t change and never will… they are slightly antiquated.

      We have to change the way we perceive our cultures, so that we incorporate other values too; respect being one of them. Women are treated differently within the different cultures and that needs to change.

  3. My daughters ex-boyfriend won’t give anybody respect because no one will respect him; but I feel you have to earn respect and should give respect first before knowing if that person deserves respect. He was a rude person and did things that didn’t earn respect.

    I grew up taught that I should respect people. I don’t feel I got any respect when I was growing up. My feelings definitely weren’t respected.

    1. I agree that we have to earn the respect as others have to earn respect too.

      Like you I also was taught to respect other people, but to me it’s a two way street. When we are respectful of others usually others are respectful back.

      You and I are around the same age Lisa. Back then when we were growing up our feelings definitely weren’t respected. That much I know to be true.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *