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And how it works.


"Sometimes people use “respect” to mean “treating someone like a person” and sometimes they use “respect” to mean “treating someone like an authority”

And sometimes people who are used to being treated like an authority say “if you won’t respect me I won’t respect you” and they mean “if you won’t treat me like an authority I won’t treat you like a person”

And they think they’re being fair but they aren’t, and it’s not okay."

- Brenna Twohy

I once had a teacher tell me he didn't need to respect me because I was simply a student. I'd have to prove I deserved respect before any respect was given to me. And that is what I have a problem with.

I am a girl who was raised to show love and respect for all people, no matter where on the social ladder they stand. Whether you are a CEO, a janitor, or a homeless man, I will respect you because that is a basic human right.

Now, if I was ever disrespected, that was another story. It's assumed that I would go ahead and disrespect that person back, but that is also not the case. If someone did something disrespectful to me, I would indeed lose my respect for them, but I learned through the years that taking the higher road is the better way to deal with those situations. If I lost my respect for someone, I no longer spoke to them or placed them very high in my mental filing cabinet. I'd be polite in forced social situations, but there would always be a lack of trust or expectations.

Respect isn't something that is first earned. It is given until lost, then it is earned back.

Now, some people may have differing ideas as to what respect consists of. Respect is defined as a feeling of admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements. To admire someone is to appreciate them. None of which are difficult concepts and non of which mention anything about being an authority. Anyone can appreciate anybody for anything, whether it be the fact that they made it into your class, that they have their own opinions, or even that they have their own struggles just like you. It is not your job to demand respect from anyone no matter how authoritative you may be. Because we all end up going to the same place after we are gone.

If you treat an equal human being like dirt and then expect to be looked up to, you've got another thing coming. To be respected is to be human. But when you take respect as a privilege rather than a right, you lose your empathy. And if you don't exercise that emotion, it can be lost forever. And that is something that helps humans connect to one another. And with no connection comes immense loneliness.

Do yourself and others a favor, be respectful.

It will only benefit you in the long run.

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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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