Reflections on the Everyday Issue of Respect


How often do we say “please” and “thank you?” How often are we courteous to a stranger or thankful to our family? What happened to getting to know the person as an individual and building up a friendship before intimate relations? Do you know how to love, or more importantly, do you know how to respect?

I recently reached out to some friends to really get to the bottom of the fact that respect has been forgotten in everyday relationships.

While what respect means is ambiguous, Abby, a mother and student in college, says respect is, “taking people’s feelings into consideration, motivating someone instead of tearing them down, anticipating someone’s thoughts and sometimes needs. It’s like the golden rule says, ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’.”

The first aspect of respect is to respect yourself. When you look at yourself in the mirror, you should see a person who is beautiful inside and out; you should look at yourself as priceless and one of a kind.

However, keep in mind that respecting yourself is different from being vain or conceited. Respecting yourself is knowing your worth and making sure others see it as well.

As we get older it is inevitable that we go out into society and interact with others, but the first form of interaction begins at home with your family. Regardless of age everyone is important and has feelings that we should listen to and cherish.

Lisa, a wife and a mother of two girls, says “All relationships that you value start with the minimum level of respect. Kids should respect their parents, parents should respect their parents, etc, and this establishes rules of moral responsibility that your family should live by. Even respect between siblings of each other’s stuff aids to this.”

Developing positive relationships with others stems from the relationship you have with yourself and your family. It affects how you view others and your approach to the world. Low self-esteem can come from others who treat you negatively and create a chain reaction. If you feel as though you are less than everyone else you treat others in a bad way because you want to make them feel as unhappy as you are.

Romantic relationships often struggle due to a lack of mutual respect. Most females feel that most males are dishonest, selfish, and above all disrespectful. Most males feel that females are judgmental, sneaky, and untrustworthy. These labels come from bad experiences and unhealthy past relationships. If people were not so invested in not trusting each other, then there would be room for reconciliation and this problem would be dissolved.

In our society, it is hard because there are women who do not respect themselves and would do anything with a man. Most males find this reassuring and often say ‘what one female doesn’t do another one will’ and take the easy way out.

Sex is a priority to many and both genders can get hurt when it comes into play.

Demand chivalry before intimacy. Every female is beautiful and should be treated like a queen. Just take a look at all of the past struggles females endured to even be recognized as an equal in society.

Marisa, a freshman, says “I would never put nude pictures of myself on the internet, or have sex with random boys. My body is holy.”

Males also need to be looked at with respect. Males get categorized as uncaring, and this is not true.

“Most, but not all, females are disrespectful when trusting their male spouse is involved. I wish they [females] would stop associating every man with untrustworthiness, lying, cheating, insensitivity, being uncaring, and all the rest of the negative things they say about all men” says Rory, a freshman.

Simply because one person has hurt you does not mean that everyone will. We need to look at people without judgment and understand that everyone is important.

Relationships should not be about one person hurting another person’s feelings in order to be superior. The key to a healthy relationship is having respect for everyone involved. Respect for yourself, your family, and everyone else is vital and needs to be implemented in all parts of society.