R.E.S.P.E.C.T. find out what it means to me – goes the song.
Well first and foremost I believe we have to respect ourselves. If we don’t no one else will.
I believe we should respect our elders, be they teachers, superiors at work, or even just the little old lady at the bus stop. That’s what I was brought up to think and I shiver at the thought that children these days are not being brought up to respect their elders.
If, as parents, we do not teach our children to automatically respect their elders (not necessarily because they are their betters, but because they happen to be older and perhaps more wise in the ways of the world) we are perhaps failing in our parental duties by sending out the signal that children demand automatic respect from adults and that adults have to earn that respect rather than the other way around.
I remember at secondary school (and this was only in the 80s) having to stand up as soon as the teacher walked in the room. It was an automatic, no questions asked, response and certainly the thought that the teacher had to earn our respect before we would stand up for them never crossed our minds. And yet a couple of years ago I remember some hoo-ha in the paper about a boy being suspended from school because he had refused to stand up when a teacher walked in (the new head had just instilled this as a school rule) and the father (probably about my age) rather than agreeing with the head sided with his son saying teachers needed to earn respect.
And when it comes to relationships I firmly believe we need to respect our partners and would like to think that a good relationship was one that is: