Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
(Philippians 2:3) KJV
Respect. Where has it gone and where can we get it? To tell you the truth, I don’t know. When I was growing up, my siblings and I were taught to respect our elders. We were taught to say, ‘Yes/No, sir/ma’am’. We were taught to speak the truth and to look presentable at all times. A myriad life lessons were instilled in us during the years of our youth. I still hold these values today. Though it has taken me years to realize some of what my parents were trying to save us from, I am still grateful for the experience.
I use facebook on a daily basis, whether using my laptop or the app on my phone. One thing that truly disgusts me is the level of maturity, the lack of respect and what the young people today consider is the norm. People my age and younger (especially) and even those who are older than me have this “don’t care attitude” of how to treat others. To think I am one of the few people that actually use the site to connect with long-lost high school friends and family. The first time that I saw people cussing on facebook, I was appalled. I was actually offended. I thought people had enough respect to keep that kind of language off of a site such as this one, especially when some of their “friends” consists of family. But then again, if they were not raised in a manner that is becoming of a young lady or man, then why should they act so in public.
I guess, now this is just my own personal observation on the matter, is that people confuse the word ‘respect’ with word ‘control’. Respect, according to Webster’s dictionary means:
2: an act of giving particular attention : consideration
3a : high or special regard : esteem
b : the quality or state of being esteemed
c plural : expressions of high or special regard or deference <paid our respects>
2a : to exercise restraining or directing influence over : regulate
b : to have power over : rule
c : to reduce the incidence or severity of especially to innocuous levels <control an insect population> <control a disease>
Now by looking at these two definitions, you can see that they are no way alike, though people generally mistake the two. Why is this? I feel a lack of education, role-models and parenting skills. I feel that the media today has skewed the way we view respect and how we properly interact with each other. Respect is not demanded, it is earned. Hard work and dedication are some of the ways that respect is earned. Position is another way to earn respect. In the army, the common saying was, “respect the rank, not the person”. Most people when they get into a position of leadership, they abuse the privileges that come with the responsibility — essentially forgetting where they just were or how they got there. In turn, they do whatever it is that they feel like and demand that their subordinates respect them as a person, as if it were their right. Respecting the position is the only way you can keep the peace in these types of situations.
When individuals participate into a discussion with sensitive issues, it tends to get heated. Some will agree to disagree and still remain friends while others get so worked up that they forget everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Though the purpose of a great argument is to sway the other party to see your own views, some people just cannot see or they do not care to see and stand their ground. Respect in this case is to see that not everyone thinks the same way. If that was the case, we would be robots.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Philippians 2:3 (KJV). I feel that this is the best fitting definition of respect and it comes straight out of the Bible. Do not do anything in malice or vanity but be humble and regard others in higher esteem than yourself. Being big headed will never earn you respect. Humbleness will earn you respect. Being humble does not mean that you are weak, it means that you put others before yourself and expecting nothing in return. If each of us could learn how to truly respect others, we all would be living a lot closer to God’s ways than we are now. The world in general would be a better place to live in.
Now I know I have just t touched the tip of the iceberg with this subject but hopefully it has made you see the way we treat others in a different way. Whether you agree with what I’ve said, or not, the final say begins and ends with you.