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We are asked to respect someone because they are older, or our in laws, or our boss. But you cannot demand respect like this. You need to be worthy of respect.
Respect, I think, is a most misunderstood word. The official meaning of respect is – a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
But we are always asked to respect someone irrespective of the fact that the said person may not have any single quality that can be respected. More so a girl is always advised to be more respectful (in other words subdued) in her behaviour. Is not respect commanded and not demanded?
So let us look at places where respect is demanded.
Just because they are born a generation before me. So? If they behave maturely, impart me good knowledge, have done some good work, of course I would respect them. But if they behave rudely, throw their weight around, I won’t respect them.
I will entertain my guest, try being a perfect host. But if my guests are complaining for no reason (especially during festive occasions), or being difficult, then I will not respect them.
This list is huge; anybody remote who is/will be your relative-in-law needs to be respected. And this becomes more important if you are a bride or from the bride’s family. There are some disgusting customs, where the bride’s family is supposed to bend and show respect to the groom’s family (irrespective of the age of the bride and groom’s family member).
How does being the relative or parents of the groom give any one extra brownie points? If you behave nicely with me and my family, I’ll respect you. But if you on purpose try to taunt or disrespect my family for your own ego (especially if you think you can get away with it being from the groom’s side), I won’t respect you.
Yes of course, I will respect my husband and he needs to respect me. However, if he keeps treating me badly and insulting me, how can I respect him? No he is not my god and I won’t treat him like one.
You may be a CEO or the head of the police but if your attitude or thinking stinks you won’t get any respect from me.
Then there are certain parameters to decide how respectful one is. If you do not follow any one of these then you are an offender.
Yes, if you wear a saree and cover your head you are extremely respectful (You may be swearing at them in your heart, but that doesn’t count). They certainly don’t believe – “Don’t judge a book by its cover”. I fail to understand how what I wear can be a sign of respect for anybody else.
If you voice your opinion and if it is against what the elders say, then you disrespect them. If they hurl insults or accuse you in the most awful manner, you are expected to keep quiet. This is your way of showing respect, but if you back answer you are a mannerless, disobedient child.
I was told that I show no respect for my marriage since I don’t wear any of the ornaments which signify that I’m married. I simply looked at them and laughed and by doing so I definitely disrespected them.
I will respect you as long as you do the same. But if you are a stubborn, arrogant, rude person, I won’t respect you just because you are any of the above. If you cross your limits do not expect me to be a mute spectator. If my clothes, voice or the way I live my life offends you, I am definitely NOT SORRY.
Image source: shutterstock
A software engineer ,who loves to travel.A writer by heart.
You are right -Respect must be earned by anyone demanding it. People’s words, thoughts and actions should be worthy of respect by fair, equal and common sense judgement- only then should we respect them.
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