Respect In this paper I will argue that respect, when earned, is more stable, more specific, and allows for a better relationship then when respect is simply demanded. Respect has been a major issue throughout time. Towns and countries alike were crushed simply for disrespecting their invaders. Vlad Dracul, a Transylvanian ruler most feared for his barbaric behavior used to cut off the heads nonconformist villagers and place them on stakes outside his castle. The reason this issue is so important is because if respect is unjustly demanded by everyone, everywhere, all the time, the idea of respect, will be cheapened and true respect will become almost worthless. The supporting arguments that can be made for my thesis are as follows: Earned respect builds a stronger relationship between people, can be more specific then demanded respect, and is more stable than demanded respect.
Also, true respect must be built on experience, and therefor it is illogical to instantly demand it. Earned respect builds a stronger respect and a stronger relationship between people. When another person earns your respect you work harder to have that same respect returned to you by emulating that respect-worthy behavior. One example of this is my 5th grade teacher, Ms. Cindy Lee.
By allowing us to call her by her first name, Cindy, she made the learning environment a lot more approachable. Another example is certain NYPD officers, who have breaking the 'blue wall of silence'; , revealing illegal events and behaviors that have taken place. By giving up and telling these secrets they have left a clean slate, showing them to be more honest, thus allowing them to form a better relationship with the people of the city. This point clearly shows that earned respect forms a better relationship then demanded respect since now that the people can respect the officers, they will have better communication. When respect is earned it is more specific then demanded respect.
If you respect someone for a specific talent, but don't actually think they are a good person, you can say that they have earned respect for their talent, but not for their character. An example of this is Bing Crosby. Although he earned respect for being great singer, people did not respect him for beating his kids. A second example of this would be River Phoenix, who earned respect for his outstanding acting abilities, but was disrespected for his drug habit. This point supports my thesis because if respect is demanded it does not specify what is being respected. It is important that respect be specific because, as shown above, a person cannot always be respected universally.
It is ineffective to assume that if you demand respect, you will automatically get it. If it is assumed that respect will be given on command, or if respect if forced unto people it makes them reluctant to respect, and stunts the growth of any earned respect. Respect is normally demanded through fear, but the fear is not actually respect. One example of this is Czar Nicholas II. His respect was commanded, and although it was willingly given to him, the respect was so fragile that 'Bloody Sunday'; , the unexpected massacre of peacefully demonstrating workers, destroyed their respect for him. A Second example of this is Vlad Dracul.
He kept people under control through fear of death, again not actually respect. This relates to my thesis because, it shows that demanding respect does not always mean getting respect. If respect is earned it is more stable then if it is demanded. This is because it is based on trust and experience.
If respect is earned instead of demanded it is easier to maintain through difficult times. An Example of this is Ghandi. Ghandi earned the people's respect, and so they followed his 'peaceful resistance'; even when there were so many reasons not to. Another example of this is Jesus Christ. Because the people respected him for his actions (an example, of earned respect), they followed him against the social and legal majorities of the time. This emphasizes the fact that when respect is earned instead of demanded, it is more stable, and can undergo more difficulties.
In conclusion, if respect is earned it is more specific, more trusting, and allows for a better relationship between people. Respect should be earned and is not automatic, even when expected or demanded. If we continue to regard respect as something given simply on the basis of social standing, no good stable relationships based on respect will be formed..