What Does Respect Really Mean?

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  1. profile image0
    greeneyedblondieposted 7 years ago

    My whole life, I've heard, "I need respect," "You're being disrespectful," "You need to give this person respect," "Be respectful," and "Stop being disrespectful." The list probably goes on. When I was much younger, and even now, I wanted to ask, "What does respect mean?" Back then I thought it would be stupid to ask, since the grown-ups used it so often it would look stupid to ask. We were expected to know what it meant. It was supposed to be obvious, so I never asked.

    Today, I've decided, reguardless of the actual definition, most people believe respect is doing something you don't want to do just because the person that asked knows more. At least in pretty much all circumstances I've ever been in that's what I've experienced. It's mostly in school settings where I see this as true. The students are supposed to stop talking because someone at the front of the room told them to, and that someone is older than them.

    The real definition of respect? Admiration. So I'm supposed to do whatever the teacher tells me to do because I admire them? How am I supposed to admire them when they have crazy rules? What about my parents? For you, what about your employers? Bosses? Am I the only one who has asked, "What does respect really mean?"

    1. Kathryn L Hill profile image78
      Kathryn L Hillposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      To ME: Respect does not mean blind obedience. Respect and Honor are different. Respect is deeper. You can honor you parents even when you do not love them. You can honor your teacher even when you do not agree. Respect goes to the soul and goes beyond the level of human relations. It is respecting the reality and dignity of the human spirit. Many do not operate on a level of being in touch with this spirit… But it is there.
      If you focus on it, it helps it manifest.

    2. kenneth avery profile image79
      kenneth averyposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      To me, respect is listening thoroughly to what YOU or anyone else says . . .before I even speak one word.

    3. rhamson profile image72
      rhamsonposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      Respect means a consideration of the facts before you. To easily dismiss someone else's perspective or summarily dismiss them with a snap judgment is the ultimate disrespect someone can show another.

    4. cjhunsinger profile image61
      cjhunsingerposted 7 years agoin reply to this

      ---Respect can never be demanded, legislated or otherwise gained through intimidation. Respect was, is and will always be earned, if not, it carries no value and is no more than a facade of toleration, a false premise that will only lead to resentment. We cannot confuse words and insert meanings and values into words that are not there. The word becomes lost and a contortion of meanings takes place.
      This is no less than Newspeak from "1984" "It is a controlled language created by the state as a tool to limit freedom of thought, and concepts that pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as "thoughtcrime" From Wikipedia
      It find it utterly amazing that we are being dominated by a political correctness, which is no less than a political mandate to redefine the English language and American culture to appease a political agenda.
      The word 'mom', is a prime example. In the last 15 years this word has become the new definition of most women under most circumstances, regardless of any other achievement or identity, and it too, has become a new metered measure of ‘respect.’ The word, 'Mom' was an endearing word used by a child for their mother or the father referencing the child’s mother, not unassociated adults with reference to a women's role as a parent. It would seem that our society is being re-engineered around words, fluff and puff and meaningless words that are being used out of context. http://www.newspeakdictionary.com/ns-prin.html
      It is very disheartening to see a headline that says that a, 'mom killed her children by strangulation.' Moms don't do that, but a deranged or drug addict mother might. Women are no longer identified, as wives, as to give indication that such and marriage are no longer integral to having a child or to the proper assemblage of a family.
      The word, ‘respect’ is also to mean tolerance and to disrespect is to be intolerant.  Intolerance, of course, is to shun and or question all that, which may or may not be conducive or complimentary to your life style, heritage, culture and beliefs.
      Respect must never be given unless it is earned. If it is, the word becomes meaningless and ambiguous, as so many words are today. Words are being redefined. Phrases, such a 'going forward', have become a cliché used by all to mean nothing, as there is no going forward to a specific or defined goal, but that all are going forward.
      The promoted ambiguity of words is a reductionist philosophy used to remove meaning and value of a language leaving definition to the State.
      “The aim of Newspeak is to remove all shades of meaning from language, leaving simple concepts (pleasure and pain, happiness and sadness, goodthink and crimethink) that reinforce the total dominance of the State. Newspeak root words serve as both nouns and verbs, further reducing the total number of words; for example, "think" is both a noun and verb, so the word thought is not required and can be abolished. The party also intends that Newspeak be spoken in staccato rhythms with syllables that are easy to pronounce. This will make speech more automatic and unconscious and reduce the likelihood of thought. (Seeduckspeak.)
      In addition, words with negative meanings are removed as redundant, so "bad" becomes "ungood". Words with comparative and superlative meanings are also simplified, so "better" becomes "gooder", and "best" becomes "goodest". Intensifiers can be added, so "great" became "plusgood", and "excellent" and "splendid" become "doubleplusgood". This ambiguity between comparative/superlative forms and intensified forms is one of the few examples of ambiguity in Newspeak.” From Wikipedia
      I hope I did not go too, far afield in my response.


    5. Credence2 profile image80
      Credence2posted 7 years agoin reply to this

      The lack of respect among and between people is the biggest reasons we have the problems we have in the world today

  2. profile image0
    greeneyedblondieposted 7 years ago

    This does clear some things up, thank you.

  3. Sed-me profile image82
    Sed-meposted 7 years ago

    If you think about it, there are only two options. To respect or disrespect. To say that you are ambivalent would mean that you offer another person no value at all, which is basically disrespect. So, I might ask myself, 'Why do I want to disrespect this person?'

    No matter who it is, it would usually come down to this: you found them lacking. They do something differently than you. Maybe a parent doesn't appear to love deeply as you would, or a teacher cannot hold their students attention, or a grandparent seems too harsh. But you have to realize, you are faulting them for having a different set of life circumstances than you. Maybe *they were not loved deeply, inspired, or treated kindly and you have now judged them for being human.

    So when ppl tell you to "respect", it doesn't mean "agree". You're never going to agree with everyone's approach to life. Instead, imagine yourself in their place, with all your flaws and shortcomings (just as they have theirs) and then offer the kindness you would want. You don't have to agree with the person to offer support for the position they are in.


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