Today, the word respect is spoken vicariously. However, we may not truly understand what respect means. Respect “is the feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements (Oxford Dictionary). ” This definition can become clear when one learns that respect comes from the Latin respectus, meaning “regard, a looking back at, consider. ” The word respect could also be derived from the Latin specere, which means to look at.
As early as the 1580’s, a common definition of respect was used to hold someone in regard due to his personal worth or power (Online Etymology Dictionary-This definition… power). However, this definition does not encompass the real meaning of respect. Respect is the equal treatment of someone no matter who he is or what he has done. To elaborate on the definition of respect, the author of Narcissus and Goldman, Hermann Hesse, once said, “We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land.
It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement (Quotes About Respect). ” This quote perfectly exemplifies what respect really is. He says that respect needs to be mutual. If respect is not reciprocated between both parties, then it is not possible to live in harmony with one another. Specifically, in marriage if one does not have respect for his spouse, then the marriage cannot function and will probably end in divorce.
Also, the lack of mutual respect can be problematic in the workplace. In the business world respectful employer to employee relationships are essential. Problems between these parties can lead to a disruptive business. Many times these complications are often in forms of: strikes, lack of communication, rumors started in the workplace, and most obviously loss of sales and production which in turn leads to a loss of money (Small Business Demand Media-In the business… money). Mutual respect is needed in all situations throughout life. Mutual respect is very important; however, equal respect to all is vital.
To expound upon equal respect, the eternal number forty-two, Jackie Robinson, once said, “I am not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being (BrainyQuote). ” In this quote Robinson perfectly illustrates the true meaning of equal respect. He says that one does not have to like everyone; however, one should treat all with equal respect. In life, treating others with respect is critical to human interaction. To specify, in the Old South the white folk did not have respect for the African Americans when they were both slaves and free people.
Lack of respect lead to numerous slave revolts due to being treated poorly. However, white people were the aggressors when they would lynch black people because they did not respect them. This ominous trend continued after segregation and did not end until the 1990’s. Jackie Robinson’s quote mirrors the great bible verse—Matthew 7:12 which says, “God created all people, and created them differently for reasons and purpose we may not understand. Regardless of how we perceive other people to be, they are God’s creations, and it is God’s will for us to show respect to everyone (Bible Study Tools). In the verse God tells us that all are equal and everyone should be treated equally. Throughout the course of life, one may find himself in situations where it is difficult to persevere and treat someone with respect; however, he will have to overcome his emotions and respect them. It is marvelous to have equal respect for all, but in order to respect others one has to respect himself first.
To elaborate on the definition of self-respect, the founder of gonzo journalism (journalism from a first person point of view), Hunter S. Thompson, once said, “We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I do not see how you can respect yourself if you must look in the hearts and minds of others for your happiness (Quotes About Self-Respect). ” (Ironically, Thompson committed suicide. ) In this quote the true meaning of self-respect is quite evident. Self-respect is the epitome of harmony with oneself. Throughout time, the greatest scholars, philosophers, and civil rights activists have strived to be in a state of harmony with himself.
Many have tried, but only one has perfectly conquered self-respect. One of the greatest civil rights activists the world has seen—Mahatma Gandhi was able to defeat the unconquerable force, oneself. Gandhi’s victory can be seen in a quote in which he says, “I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect (Quotes About Self-Respect). ” This quote perfectly displays the importance of self-respect. However, during our battle with ourselves over self-respect, we experience some of the worst emotions possible: self-loathing, depression, heartbreak, and suicidal tendencies.
The aforementioned suicide of Mr. Thompson occurred because of this battle. Throughout our entire lives, we may never truly conquer self-respect and will have to live with the guilt at our deathbeds. (What an oxy-moron! ) On the contrary, those select few who conquer self-respect are able to die peacefully in harmony with oneself and God. Respect can be seen and used differently. Respect will always impact our life greatly. In life we are presented with many situations in which we must treat people with the utmost respect. Respect in its purest definition is the equal treatment of everyone no matter the circumstances.