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Updated on November 10, 2014

Earning Respect

Respect, we all need it. We all demand a bit of understanding in this ever changing world. Discrimination has developed a whole new meaning as to the disrespectful practices dealing with our fellow human race. Each generation can be held at fault for losing respect of the next one. Yet not one wants to accept this as having anything to do with what the final outcome is.

Lack of respect is an abuse as bad as any other. If you ever saw an adult child take advantage of their parents by causing either emotional or physical harm to them, you know exactly where my opinions on the subject are coming from. I’ve witnessed grandparents being talked to with such foul tones it would make a sailor blush. I’ve seen children hit their caregiver without even an ounce of discipline to prevent a future act of violence. I fully understand the concept of clamping down on child abuse offenders, but the fear of it has left people not knowing where discipline and abuse separate.


Discipline in earlier generations may have involved a spanking, leaving a child thinking twice about further wrong doing. Maybe they were wrong, but they earned respect. And the child wasn’t apt to forget the meaning of respect as they entered the adult stage, either. Many earlier acts of discipline only meant grounding a child from seeing friends or watching television for a certain period of time. Time out in a quiet space to recall what was done wrong usually brought out the same reaction. Certainly these later punishments were not mean alternatives. Making a child mind is not mean. It could prevent them from danger lurking in their future. After all if a child is told to stay away from a highway and gets hit by a car whose fault would that be? Not only will the parent blame themselves, but others will as well. Respect will never be earned without discipline of one kind or another.


Abuse comes from neglect, physical violence and emotional criticism. Letting children run wild, run over you and do whatever they please is just as bad as physically causing them pain. Screaming insults and calling them demeaning names can have everlasting damage to their self esteem. This doesn’t end with just childhood events either. Adults can just as easily abuse their mates and their aging parents. Children abuse children and the talk of depression associated with bullies has become blamed for the cause of many teenage suicides. Young bullies grow to become adult bullies. Respect for anything and anyone will never be seen by these individuals who are truly victims themselves for lack of proper up-bringing. Learning respect could be a lifesaver.

Earning Respect is Important

Respect for our teachers, law enforcement, political leaders, clergymen, foreign visitors, senior citizens and the opposite sex should be something we all have learned early in life. Sadly, we see disrespectful acts every day. It’s in our homes, schools, and on our streets. The headline news stories bring it to our attention as common events. We joke about our government. We slam our leaders. We ask for equal rights. We are only human. We make mistakes. Mankind will find the peace we are all seeking when the simple act of respect becomes more important. Love, faith, hope and understanding cannot bring happiness to a world lacking the know how to teach respect for those deserving it. Not everyone can be respected, but only the evil should be exempt from having a fair chance to earn it. Earning respect can be worth more than anything else we should ever hope for.


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    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks, Mhatter99. I welcome your in-put on this topic. Battling a low self esteem problem myself for years of harsh words by classmates and my own spouse have really given me a look at what lack of respect means. But I am proud to say my children have always been respectful of those around them and especially to me. I think just knowing my opinion on it taught them how to behave without ever using any harsh forms of discipline.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      great article! I am a 33rd degree mason. I have an ego problem, understandable considering my accomplishments. To correct, instead of eating with my masonic brothers I dawn an apron and serve coffee. what a difference, respect-wise, an apron makes. (even for judges!) there are few with class.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Thanks for the comments wetnosedogs and kerlynb. It disturbs me to see how disrespectful people are especially to their elders who they should me looking up to.

    • kerlynb profile image

      kerlynb 5 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      I like the way you emphasized that we ought to earn respect from people by behaving appropriately. Respect is given and not asked for. It is just too bad that sometimes other people would still bully or criticize us even if we have done what we could to stay decent and therefore respectable. I just don't know how to deal with those haters. Voting your hub up and interesting!

    • wetnosedogs profile image

      wetnosedogs 5 years ago from Alabama

      I feel this is a must read. A great reminder of the meaning of the word, respect.

      I shared this.