Earning, not Expecting Respect

How respect is earned, not just given.

May 16, 2022

If someone screams at you and tells you to listen to everything they say or tells you to do something, why should you listen to them? They were just rude and yelled at you when you did nothing to trigger this response. Now imagine it was your parents or a teacher. Suddenly you respect them, and it is all right that they yell at you in that manner? You should not just respect someone for what their authority is over you. If they treat you like trash or a servant, why should you have respect for them, why do you owe them anything? Respect is something that is earned, not just given. If they treat you with respect, they receive it back all the same. 


Respect is defined as a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something due to their abilities, qualities, or achievements. Nowhere in there does it state that it must be given to people just because they have some sort of authority over you or have more experience than you. No one is owed respect. The perception of respect is a spectrum and what you feel. Respect is based off how they are as a person, not what rank they may have over you. Studies show that respect is essential to relationships and even personal identity. You cannot fully trust or respect someone you just met, they must gain trust and respect over time. You have no clue what they have done or what they will do, no matter what they do or say. Even with people you do know; they must treat you like a person, not just like a punching bag. Respect is mutual, they must treat you with respect and respect will come their way.  


Several people around Venice Middle School have stated why respect should be earned. One person has said, “Why should I respect someone I have just met? They haven’t showed me anything to trust or respect them.” Another student mentioned the fact that their parents constantly take their phone and go through it. They said this was for no reason and that just because their parents have authority over them does not mean they should lack respect for their privacy. As a parent you would want your kid to trust and respect you, if you do not trust your kid why should they trust you?  


Overall, respect is a very important and key element in human life. It determines your trust, how you are treated and how you treat others. Respect shouldn’t just be thrown around or given to people based higher positions. Respect is sacred, use it carefully.  

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