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To Get Respect, You Have to Give it

Respect Goes a Long Way Toward Success at School

Jacob Kirkman

Jacob Kirkman

Jacob Kirkman, Staff Writer

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Respect, for me, is being able to disagree with one another but still able to hold a discussion on the opposing sides, being able to be courteous to others even if they show hostility, listening to a stranger’s wisdom because of their experiences; overall being a kind and courteous human being even if they aren’t themselves. However, I have a limit for respect. If someone repeatedly shows a lack of respect, I, too, shall stop showing respect to that person.
Now others may or may not have the same idea as me, and let’s see how they compare:

A student I asked responded as such: “Treat people equally, being fair to others.” When asked about whether or not respect had a limit they essentially said that the limit was, and this is a paraphrase approved by the student, “Being rude and unjust on multiple occasions”

Another student responded to the same questions as such, commenting about reverence and honesty: “Respect is when you act with reverence and honesty. In order to lose respect you need to do wrong constantly.”

A third student also commented about rudeness and harassment as a limit, as seen here: “Respect is about not being rude or demanding with anyone. There’s a limit that’s fairly easy to reach which is to constantly harass or annoy someone.”

This final student had this to say about respect and its limits: “Respect is treating people fairly and kindly. Being rude and uncaring is the quickest way to lose respect.”

As you can see from the quotes the definitions of respect are slightly varied but share similar ideas of being kind, fair, and honest. As with the limit it’s all the same: Don’t be rude, mean, or an overall demeaning person. It should be self explanatory that respect is a two way street and therefore it’s heavily needed within work and school. What happens if respect is demanded without being earned? Let’s see.

If a manager is kind and well-respected yet an employee is rude to the manager then the manager will obviously lose all respect for their employee. Now, what if the employee were to demand respect? The manager would refuse them the respect they deserve because of past actions and thus, should the employee talk to HR about this dispute the manager would be forced to respect the employee or be fired for harassment. This illustrates respect being used against a person in a higher position to where they either lose a job they earned, or they’re no longer happy at their job and will look for a new one.

Here’s another example but a different place: A student within school respectfully brings up a concern they have with a class or the school system in general. The teacher responds by telling them to shut up and to deal with it without offering any assistance or explanation for the backlash. The student continues to ponder and question the school system and begins to doubt it’s credibility and respect for the students to the point he finds it to be absolutely unfair. They go to question the faculty and administrators but are met with dead ends and wild goose chases, thus cementing his idea on how the school is unfair and lacks any respect for the students. The student, now trapped in their feeling of absolute lack of voice, loses any respect for the school and possibly future schools. They continue to question the school and are constantly threatened with punishment for not staying quiet despite the clear need for these questions. Eventually they stopped trying and the student, who was once bright and brimming with questions, squanders their gifts and insight because they feel as though the world will refuse to listen to the questions, let alone answer them.

Two examples on how respect can change the view of life, both for high-ranking personnel and low-ranking personnel. As stated before respect is a two-way street. If one side refuses to show respect, yet demand it, the one who originally showed respect suffered. You may read this and not care— or you’ll read this and take something important from this. What that something is however, is up to you.

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To Get Respect, You Have to Give it