Respect is a broad term with different meanings to different people. However, it is commonly understood as a way of showing admiration or regard for someone or something. Respect plays a big role in the running of the society. For instance, at the workplace, school or family, everyone needs to be respected. When someone is respected, he/she feels honored and appreciated. Nonetheless, respect is a virtue that most people want to receive but not everyone gives. This paper, therefore, seeks to demonstrate the importance of respect in creating a better society for everyone.
According to Norville (2009), respect comprises a combination of admiration, appreciation and recognition of an individual as worthwhile. In the modern society, the word ‘respect’ is sometimes confused with fear. This is the reason why gangs in the streets fight and kill to earn respect but end up gaining fear. Similarly, domestic abusers beat up their partners in demand for respect but end up creating fear in the family rather than respect. In the long run, children in such families keep their problems to themselves instead of sharing them with their parents for assistance. When they grow up, they become isolated and hostile to their peers.
Genuine respect is demonstrated when you see an individual make a mistake but still appreciate him/her for his/her unique gifts and talents. It is not always about expecting perfection. Human beings are bound to make mistakes and beating them up to submission is not the best way to earn respect. Respect does not mean that one has to agree with every decision made (Norville, 2009). Acknowledging partner’s decisions and discussing them would help him/her realize his/her mistakes. It would also enable him/her make corrections without any conflict. Most people would demand respect simply because of their position in the society or their rank in the workplace. However, it depends on how the senior treats his/her juniors. Like many things, respect begins with the self-respect. It is necessary that individuals respect themselves before they can demand respect from others. If an individual perceives him/herself as dumb, worthless and careless, he will be also treated in the same way by others. On the other hand, if he/her treats others with respect, he is likely to receive the same treatment in return.
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Vugt (2000) affirms that respect leads to trust and honesty. For instance, a respectful husband would call his wife to tell her that he will be coming home late. Respect demands that one listens to what others have to say and considers their opinion. The most productive working environment is where employees are treated with dignity and respect. For instance, employees would feel respected if their views and ideas are taken into consideration. They will also feel as a part of an organization and, therefore, will give their best efforts in the running of the organization. On the other hand, if an employer keeps pushing his/her employees around to show that he/she is the boss, it would lead to poor organizational culture and in the long run, contribute to poor results.
Respect also goes beyond self and extends to secondary relationships. For instance, if a child is brought up in a family that upholds respect for one another, he/she will learn to respect others. This might improve the society in many ways. For starters, respect for other people’s property would ensure that there is no theft in the society. Similarly, a respectful student would not steal another student’s book because he/she understands the consequences of his/her actions. In school, students are expected to respect their teachers and fellow students. In most cases, respectful students perform better than the disrespectful ones because of their discipline. For instance, a respectful student will ensure that he/she completes his/her assignments in time. In the long run, he/she will be able to improve his/her skills and perform better. This student is also likely to earn respect from the teachers. Respect, therefore, leads to better coexistence in the society (Vugt, 2000).
Currently, most education institutions are made up of students from various ethnic backgrounds. It is, therefore, necessary that all students uphold respect by appreciating other students’ cultural backgrounds and taking them as opportunities to learn from one another. Furthermore, everyone is created with different skills and talents. Schools should also respect the wishes and talents of students and give them a platform to achieve their goals.
Norville (2009) asserts that the progress of the society also depends on how much respect the leaders have for the people. For instance, respectful leaders will not engage in corruption or mismanagement of funds meant for the citizens. Instead, they will invest all the money in development projects to uphold the livelihood of their members. However, when leaders ignore agreement and act with disrespect, the society will end up lagging behind in development. The civilians will also feel oppressed and the situation could result into social unrest.
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In conclusion, respect is a very important key in life that could open doors and opportunities for success in personal lives and business. It is, therefore, necessary that parents and teachers instill discipline in the children so that they could grow up to be respectful citizens. The attitudes that are instilled in children while growing up would be reflected in their behavior as adults. Similarly, if children grow up in families where parents are disrespectful, they will pick up the traits from the parents. In business, managers ought to respect the employees for them to earn respect in return.
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