A few weeks ago I was having a meeting with a business partner of mine. When my skills were challenged and downright nullified to point where I felt somewhat disrespected. This has been an issue that has come up in the past, because in the career path I want to go into majority of my counterparts have vast more experience than myself. Often times, this can become problematic when it comes to respecting ones ideas or the validity of their opinions. This prompted me to ask the question is respect earned or given?.
What is Respect?
In my experience the meaning of respect is to show admiration to someone no matter of disagreements, age, race or gender. This was taught to me at an early age to “to gain respect you must respect yourself and others”. The word respect can be misconstrued at times meaning that any disagreement or differ in opinion is disrespect. In many cases we can have disagreements and follow the old saying “agree to disagree”. Having respect for other people’s opinion can sometimes be difficult to find in today’s society. Where you can find disrespect commentary on the news, social media and in daily forms of social interaction. For example, the presidential candidates for this upcoming election have proven this narrative to be true. They have established this without shadow of a doubt by going back and forth using rude and occasionally crude depictions, words and Television ads to thoroughly disrespect one another.
For What is Not Earned is Not Respected
Many may argue that respect is not given and you have to “work for my respect”. This idea is based on the show me mentality. Often times in today’s society we tend to tune out anyone who differs in opinions, views or morals from ourselves. This narrative has shown to be true in certain situation i.e. the workplace, social debates or disagreements. A news topic that has seen a great deal of news coverage over past week or so is Colin Kaepernick stand for injustice in America. He’s stand or rather sit has been a topic of debate ranging from news outlets, social media and water coolers across the United States. This conservation has some feeling disrespected for sharing their own opinions. This has caused an heavy wave of disrespectful and sometimes misplaced hate to one another.
Having respect for someone is not a law, but rather as my mother would say “the right thing to do”. In a time as we are in today where there is more hate and negativity than positivity in the world. Having respect for one another is vital to help change the narrative and spread positivity. We must examine ourselves and ask do we truly want our opinion, views and ideas to be respected even if disagreed upon.