I trust you are all well.
Before you carry on, please answer this question;
What does respect look like, practically to you?
Respect will look and sound different based on the person answering the above question.
For me, respect is crucial.
Respect is a ‘by fire by force‘ type element to every relationship.
Without respect, what is the actual point?
I am not sure whether it is as a result of my Nigerian background or something else but for me, respect is a lot. While it is not everything, it is a lot. A WHOLE LOT.
In regard to respect, I have heard the following strong statements, said to me passionately in defence of quite rude behaviour. Some you might agree with them, some of you might not but everyone definitely has something to say about respect.
“Respect is mutual”
“Respect is earned“.
” If you don’t respect me, I will not respect you”
“You must respect your elders”
The list goes on…
Like I said, everyone has something to say about respect – both those who want to demand respect by hook or by crook and those who want to be treated with respect.
Whenever anyone talks about respect, I will admit that I do tend to wander in my mind to that time I was watching Ashley Banks from the ‘Fresh Prince of Bel Air‘, sing spelling “R.E.S.P.E.C.T.” in the way that caused Will Smith to try and make money off of his little cousin. His behaviour in that episode was so disrespectful but I digress.
My daydreaming about tv shows while someone is talking to me about respect is disrespectful and that is one of the issues. I do not know anyone who is respectful 100% of the time and to everyone, they meet. Is it even possible?
I do not know.
What I do know is, it is important to at least try and be respectful.
I asked you a question earlier.
This is MY response to that question;
1. It is not careless/vengeful/malicious in speech towards you
2. It is not dismissive
3. Takes me into consideration and is considerate in action
4. Treats me with kindness
5. It is not patronising or condescending
6. It is polite and courteous
7. It is honest and lacking deceit in its address
8. It honours the person being addressed as a human being. Worthy to be treated properly and with dignity
9. It disregards titles, rank or station and is not accorded based on any of these factors
10. It allows space for a person to be free to be themselves.
This does not cover aspects of respect and probably sounds excessive but it is not. This is what I believe respect should look like. It should give you an idea of where my head is.
Do I respect everyone I meet? No. Some people provoke me to disrespect (not an excuse). However, I do try to respect such people in any way. God help me, I try.
Asking and demanding respect should not be a thing that people should be doing. It should be given to strangers, acquaintances, colleagues, friendly acquaintances, friends and lovers alike. Full stop. Lovers and those you have formed a relationship with especially.
When I begin to beg people for respect, that is usually my cue to shift and remove myself from any spaces that contain continuous disrespect. It is destructive.
It will damage your self-esteem and confidence and it does so quietly. It is unhealthy. Disrespect is venomous – very negative energy especially when it comes from people we care about.
I cannot stress the importance of respecting people.
Respect each other. Set the standard for how you want to be treated. There will be people who will ignore you and do what they want anyway. To those people, let it go. Remove yourself as politely as possible and walk away (for those who despise conflict. If you thrive in conflict, I don’t know what to say to you).
Disrespect is so unhelpful. I will go as far as saying it is uncouth (my new favourite word).
Don’t be that person!
Respect is the way forward people!
It makes life THAT much easier.
Love and Blessings!