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?