Respect is something that has to be earned, not demanded

Right from my childhood, I was told to respect my elders. I never understood why I have to do it, nor was I taught why I have to do it. We are taught to question everything and also at the same time, we are taught to blindly follow certain things. At least, in my case when I try to question why I have to follow those things, the only answer I get – that is how it has always been. But I am a very curious person, if I am doing something I wanna know why I am doing it. So, I wanted to know what does respect actually mean.

Respect – a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

Now, that I know what it means, I know whom I have to respect. That doesn’t mean I don’t respect other people. Its as simple as this – I respect everyone, as a fellow human, but beyond that is something you gotta earn. Now, I know why I have to respect my elders, for their experience and age, but beyond that is something they gotta earn. And that is when I learnt and decided, whom I should be respecting and for what reasons. I am surrounded by people, who judge a person based on the community that person belongs to, but I don’t see any sense in that logic at all. Respect is not something you get based on your caste or religion or gender, rather its all about who you are, and that’s how respect is supposed to be earned.

Now, how do you respect someone? There is no definitive answer to that. You don’t have to respect people the same way I do or vice versa. For instance, I usually don’t call or chat up with people, with whom I am not that close (be it relatives or friends), that doesn’t mean I don’t respect them, that’s just who I am, its my character trait. But they fail to understand that its not being done on purpose. At the same time, if they call up, I will respect them enough to talk what is required. I am not much of a chatter or someone who does small talks, and more often it fires back at me, where people think I am being disrespectful and they get offended. Its really simple, you wanna talk, ring me up, I will talk. You wanna see me, let me know, I will come. These people demand respect, but respect is something that has to be earned, not demanded.

People easily get offended, when they don’t get the respect, but they never try to think for a moment if they have earned it. I personally don’t take this respect stuff too seriously. You are going to respect me for what I am, but nothing more. I wanna respect people for their thoughts, their vision, their intellectual strength, their passion, their kindness and of all their honesty. Most people around me don’t understand the concept of privacy and personal space, to respect such things. I believe everyone’s entitled to have their opinion about anything, and I completely respect that, but I draw the line when they try to enforce their opinions on me. For instance, I am an atheist, we can have a healthy discussion about it. But when you jump out-rite that I am wrong, without any discussions, I simply loose respect for you. And honestly I am surrounded by such people, and I try to stay away from such people.

There is a huge difference between telling and teaching. We need to teach younger people to respect others opinions, respect others feelings. Of all teach them self-respect. We also need to respect them for their thought process, their dreams. We need to respect them for who they are and not be judgmental about it. Everyone you meet is not gonna respect you, and it shouldn’t matter. If you wanna be respected, earn it, not demand it.

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