Let's Talk About Respect
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Politics and Activism

Let's Talk About Respect

What it is, what it isn't and who deserves it.

Let's Talk About Respect

We're going to start off with a pop quiz. Don't worry, it's only two multiple choice questions, and other people won't see your grade.

1. Who deserves respect?

A. My parents.

B. The president.

C. My teachers / professors.

D. Everybody, regardless of age, gender, race, orientation, job or appearance.

2. When is catcalling appropriate?

A. If the girl is super hot.

B. If the guy is super hot.

C. If the person doing the catcalling is super hot.

D. Never, because catcalling is disrespectful.

In case you were wondering, 'D' was the answer to both questions.

This wasn't meant to be a hard pop-quiz. Respect shouldn't seem like such a hard concept to understand, but it seems like a lot of us forgot what we were taught in elementary school about respect.

One of the definitions Merriam-Webster gives for the word respect is "a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way."

Another definition is "a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc."

The word respect is a translation of the Greek word timēsate, meaning “honor or value.” It literally means “to place a great value or high price on something.”

Now tell me this. Does catcalling seem like it shows another person that you view them as valuable? Does catcalling show that the person is honored and esteemed? You can argue that catcalling shows that you view them as attractive...but attractive and valuable are not synonymous. The word attractive refers to the opinion that someone has a certain essence of beauty about them. The person is nice to look at, basically. Value on the other hand is much harder to define.

Value has to do with worth and importance. To value someone means that you view them as having worth that may or may not be able to be defined monetarily. Regardless of what the human trafficking industry may say, human life is hard to put an exact price on. However, people have tried. As of 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency set the value of a human life at $9.1 million. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration put it at $7.9 million — and the Department of Transportation figure was around $6 million. These values are all different, but they are all very high. I don't know if inflation or changes in our economy would cause the numbers to be different today, five years later, but still. If you want to catcall someone, then maybe you should be willing to fork out millions of dollars to show that you deem them worthy and valuable.

Respect is not something that needs to be earned. It is something that every human being deserves. Yes, even the people we may not like deserve our respect. Why? Because human life is valuable, and maybe we should start treating our fellow human beings with as much esteem as we would like to garner.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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