reply to post by Sherlock Holmes
Respect is earned.
Far be it from me to disappoint you... but it really is true. Respect comes in many layers, and each layer is earned with more than the previous.
Simple human respect, which is what the OP appears to be talking about, is earned by just being human. When I meet someone for the first time, I allow
them a certain amount of respect, just because they are human.
Some people call it 'consideration', but I see it as an entry level of respect.
From there, it is up to each person to demonstrate that they are worthy of respect. I can lose respect for someone over many things: cussing someone
else without cause, inconsiderate actions, lies, etc. A person gains my respect when they do something that I deem worthy of it: helping a child or an
elderly person is a biggie for me. Even having survived life for longer than I have is a reason to afford respect.
So yes, it must be earned... but that really isn't hard to do.
I believe the problem stems in large part from the lack of early discipline in children. Too many parents are more concerned with their own lives than
that of their children. I was raised to respect my elders... and that concept of affording respect to others stuck with me. Today, I too often hear
the excuse "he's just a child; he doesn't know what he is saying" and I want to scream "THEN TELL HIM!
A child's most formative years are actually pre-school, so the tired old excuse of "he must have gotten it at school" doesn't cut it with me
either. My kids are respectful, and they went to public school.
Anyway, if a child grows up lacking that simple requirement to respect others, they eventually get to the point that others are seen as a nuisance
unless they are needed. Someone is in your way? Just shove them out of the way. Someone did something nice? Don't acknowledge it, because they
aren't that important. Someone needs help? Why should I bother?
I blame a lot also on the new electronic communication media. Forgive my bluntness but at one time respecting others was a very good plan to stay
healthy! I have seen more than one fight, serious fight, over a single disrespectful statement. Showing disrespect was actually dangerous. But today,
one can speak however they want to the voice on the other end of the phone line, or type whatever they want to the recipient of a text message or
email, because they may well be on the other side of the planet.
We have lost almost an entire generation to this phenomenon. I only pray that we won't lose more.