It’s Monday. I’m sleepy. We’re playing the Feud. OK, not really, but here we are again. I wasn’t sure what to write about today, but I finally figured it out when I was zoning out and staring up at the ceiling. Respect. It’s something I haven’t talked about, and it’s something that is so hard to define. I mean, sure, we all know what respect is. But to what extent do we actually consider the implications of this.
For example, parental respect is something that often is inherent to relationships, but that respects usually requires some amount of positivity between the parent and the child. Which is not always an option. In abusive relationships, children do not always respect their parents. And rightly so, as the parent has not shown respect for their child. In this situation, earning respect is required on the side of the more mature, powerful agent—the parent.
Moving on the other forms of relationships, think about the dating spectrum. At what point can a person say that they respect their partner? After looking at their online profile? That sounds pretty underwhelming—people can pretty easily lie on the Internet. After one date with them? Maybe the girl/guy made a really good impression, or said something so profound that she/he earned their date’s respect. Several years into a relationship? Usually at this point, respect is already gained. But it can be lost really easily. Cheating with another person often results in the loss of respect. Failure to maintain a job can sometimes lead to this same end slate. Abuse almost always leads to a depreciation in respect levels.
So if respect is a fluid idea, and it varies within the social dynamic how much respect a person has and how fast they can lose it, what is the purpose of it? Personally, I think that the purpose of respect dates back to the previous era, in which chivalry and the idea of being a gentleman was much, much more important than it is today. The reliance on someone’s word as being an extension of their lives was commonplace. Respect could have been seen as the idea that one gentleman found another gentleman worthy enough that he would believe him at his word. Unfortunately, it was only really a male thing because back in the “good old days” as many people refer to it, women were pretty much completely irrelevant.
But hey, respect, like I said, is fluid. What do you think about it? I didn’t talk about the non private relations, but there are business respect interactions, as well as respect for people that are your enemy. Let me know in the comments!