It is a triangular matter

This month’s blog is on the matter of respect. Though this word has both a noun and a verb definition. In the context of a noun, it is clearly a thing, more specifically a construct of though which is related to attitude. However, when used as a verb, it is an active event and process. For this blog, the one that we’re specifically concerned with is that of the verb, because it refers to an action. To respect is to consider worthy of high regard, specifically towards something or someone (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Some synonyms for respect are esteem, honor, or revere. It can also mean, to refrain from interfering with (Merriam-Webster Dictionary).

The thing I want to clarify with regards to actions is that though some develop as a result of other activities, most things that fall within the matter of social interaction occur based on a matter of a conscious or cognitive thought; it is a decided response and application. Respect is both an internal and external action and what most people fail to realize is that if they have a difficult time respecting themselves, then they will also more than likely have an extremely difficult time giving respect to others.

I know that I have heard people say, that in order for someone to get my respect they must earn it. I too have been one to operate under this mindset, though I have over the years learned that there is a bit of a flaw in this, especially if one claims to be of Christian faith, as well as the teaching of other spiritual/ religious people and groups.

The flaw with this is that in order to develop any sort of relationship you would always demand someone do something to gain your respect. Furthermore, if they are operating under the same mindset, they would require the same thing of you. Now, while you let that thought marinate for a while, how about this… What if, we all gave respect for one another just merely based on them being another human being? I mean after all is another person not valuable and worthy of respect in the most general of forms?

Back when I used to work in the Department of Corrections, I would tell the youth that I worked with, both in the capacity of either a Drill Instructor or Counselor, that regardless of what they did to get incarcerated, I still respected them. I certainly didn’t respect the crime they committed, but I found some form of value in every one of them, thereby allowing me to be able to respect them on the primal level. If for no other reason, I knew that God had given them life; He created them (Genesis 1:26-28). Therefore, out of respect for God, and my relationship with Him, I vowed to always be respectful to others, even though there were times they were disrespectful to me or others and they honestly didn’t deserve it.

Respect is really a triangular matter. Look at the image below to get a visual of what I mean by that statement. 

It is through respect that we can start to move forward with many things that hind us, not only as a society, but as an individual as well. One thing that we as individuals must learn to do, is respect ourselves. Think about the following: If we lie, cheat, steal, defraud, or fail to exercise integrity we lack respect for ourselves. If we willingly consume (eat, drink, inhale, or observe) something that is harmful to us, we lack respect for ourselves. If we participate in things which are inappropriate, we lack respect for ourselves. I say these things, not to condemn anyone, but merely to identify the hard truth that many often refuse to accept. 

Take a couple of minutes to watch this video (Fearless Soul, 2014)

The one thing I’m going to leave you with is this. No one person, will by themselves absolutely change the world. But we all have the ability to change ourselves and in doing so, we can influence a change in the world.

References and Resources:

Fearless Soul (2014). How You Treat People Is Who You Are! (Kindness Motivational Video). Retrieved from Retrieved on 27 July 2019.

Respect (n.d.). The Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved from Retrieved on 27 July 2019.

The Holy Bible, New King James Version (1985). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.