Respect has to be earned. Really?

April 18, 2011 at 5:31 AM | Posted in Relationships | Leave a comment

I heard someone say, not long ago, that a certain person had not earned the respect of the group. I didn’t say anything at the time but the words struck a discordant note and I’ve continued to think about them. It is not new to say that we must ‘earn’ respect but if we really believe that, we must also believe that we begin without any at all. Or perhaps we do begin with some grudging, skeptically handed-over, easy to lose respect. Then, at the first sign that we are human, it slips away – and the group moves on.

I think that we would all be better off if we gave full respect from the beginning, particularly to new people of our acquaintance, particularly to those we work with. How much more pleasant would that be!

Then if things don’t work out, if we have to pull a knife out of our back, if we have to get up after being tripped, we can say they’ve lost our respect. But even then, let’s not bring the group into it. Groups tend to act mindlessly and often, in reality, don’t exist except as a scapegoat for our own beliefs.

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