Tuesday, January 4, 2011
I've been pondering respect lately. Coming from a police background I tend to grant respect according to rank and experience almost without thinking because that is what we were taught to do. However, like most coppers, the automatic granting of respect does not mean that it will continue forever without question, because for me longevity of respect is based upon the actions of the person. It must be earnt if it is to last.
I'm sure most of you will have come across people at various times of your life who have lost your respect and like virginity, once lost it is very hard to get back.
So what exactly does respect mean? In looking for the answer to that question I came across the following quotes which encompass aspects of respect that I embrace.
Leaders who win the respect of others are the ones who deliver more than they promise, not the ones who promise more than they can deliver.
Ralph Waldo Emerson:
Men are respectable only as they respect.
Respect a man, and he will do all the more.
Each of these have common elements. Firstly for respect to last it must be mutual. You cannot demand respect if you do not give it. Secondly, respect is earnt by example, put in more than is expected and most of the time you will earn the respect of people you associate with. The caveat to that is that will only happen if you don't winge about the fact that you do more than others.
Demanding respect does not work for me.