The word respect comes from the Latin word “respectus” meaning attention, regard or consideration. It can be defined as “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability“.
It is a very important component of both personal identity and interpersonal relationships. To feel respected could be considered a basic human right. Disrespect is a very important thing that can lead to break-ups and even violence.
It is a concept that refers to the ability to value and honor another person, both his and her words and actions, even if we do not approve or share everything he or she does. It is accepting the other person and not trying to change them. Respecting another person is not judging them by their attitudes, behaviors or thoughts. It is not expecting for someone to be otherwise.
Respect, also called esteem, is a positive feeling or action shown towards someone or something considered important, or held in high esteem or regard. It conveys a sense of admiration for good or valuable qualities. And it is also the process of honoring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings.
Some people may earn the respect of individuals by assisting others or by playing important social roles. In many cultures, individuals are considered to be worthy of respect until they prove otherwise. Courtesies that show respect may include simple words and phrases like “Thank you” in the West or “Namaste” in the Indian subcontinent, or simple physical signs like a slight bow, a smile, direct eye contact, or a simple handshake; however, those acts may have very different interpretations, depending on the cultural context.
Respect is a way of treating or thinking about something or someone. If you respect your teacher, you admire her and treat her well.
Respect has great importance in everyday life. As children we are taught (one hopes) to respect our parents, teachers, and elders, school rules and traffic laws, family and cultural traditions, other people’s feelings and rights, our country’s flag and leaders, the truth and people’s differing opinions. And we come to value respect for such things; when we’re older, we may shake our heads (or fists) at people who seem not to have learned to respect them. We develop great respect for people we consider exemplary and lose respect for those we discover to be clay-footed, and so we may try to respect only those who are truly worthy of our respect. We may also come to believe that, at some level, all people are worthy of respect. We may learn that jobs and relationships become unbearable if we receive no respect in them; in certain social milieus we may learn the price of disrespect if we violate the street law: “Diss me, and you die.” Calls to respect this or that are increasingly part of public life: environmentalists exhort us to respect nature, foes of abortion and capital punishment insist on respect for human life, members of racial and ethnic minorities and those discriminated against because of their gender, sexual orientation, age, religious beliefs, or economic status demand respect both as social and moral equals and for their cultural differences. And it is widely acknowledged that public debates about such demands should take place under terms of mutual respect. We may learn both that our lives together go better when we respect the things that deserve to be respected and that we should respect some things independently of considerations of how our lives would go.
TYPES OF RESPECT
There are many types, the most important of which are: self-respect, for others, for social norms, for nature, for values, for laws and norms, for culture and for the family.
It is learning to tolerate, not discriminate and avoid actions that may offend others. Some examples of consideration in everyday life are: greeting or speaking to others in a kind and respectful way, giving up your seat in public places, treating others as you would like them to treat you, etc.
- For self:This kind refers to the ability to respect oneself, to value and appreciate oneself. Accepting oneself regardless of what others think.
- For others:This kind refers to the act of tolerating accepting and considering another person, even though there may be differences between them, or between the way they think. Some examples would be; respect for parents, men and women equally, teachers, older people, other’s religious beliefs, respect for people of different sexual orientation (lesbians, transgender, gay, bisexual, intersex, etc.), etc.
- For social norms:This kind refers to the ability to respect all the norms that govern society. Some examples of this type of respect would be: respect for courtesy rules, working hours, other people’s belongings, letting them speak and listen, respecting others opinions.
- For nature:This kind refers to the appreciation of the environment (animals, plants, rivers, etc.). Some examples of this type of respect would be; not throwing garbage in rivers, forests, or fields, not tearing up plants or mistreating nature, not wasting water, not harming animals or insects, recycling, using environmentally friendly means of transport, etc.
- For the family:This kind implies being able to understand and respect each other within the family, and implies being able to follow a set of rules of coexistence.
- For values:This kind refers to the ability to honor our own principles.
- For culture:This type of value refers to the ability to recognize that there are other beliefs and be able to respect them. Some example of this kind of respect would be; not trying to impose our beliefs on others, avoid making judgments about the opinions of others, etc.
- For national symbols:This kind refers to the ability to value and appreciate the symbols of a nation. For example, the anthem or the flag.
- For human beings:This type refers to the ability to comply with legal norms, respect laws, etc.