the words respect and fear seem to go hand and hand. there is a school of thought that says you cannot have respect without fear. this is extremely disturbing to me. so i decided to do a bit of digging on the what these commonly used words truly mean.
1re·spect (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/respect )
: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.
: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way
: a particular way of thinking about or looking at something
: to be afraid of (something or someone)
: to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant)
: to be afraid and worried
ok…so as we can see, respect and fear are two totally separate concepts. so why are they lumped together so often? why is there a school of thought that in order to have the respect of another person, they must fear you?
we are told we are to respect the police. what is that respect based on? it is based on to expect or worry about (something bad or unpleasant) happening. children are told to respect their parents simply because they are their parents, or adults in general because they are adults. again, for the most part, this respect is expected for little reason. respect your teachers, school administration bc they simply exist, even if they have shown you that they are not worthy of someone feeling admiration for them.
does respect (second definition:a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way) that is given as a result of fear (all three definitions) actually equal true respect (admiration) or is it that the person who is supposed to be giving respect’s only way to come out of a situation unscathed?
it is time we start working toward earning the respect of others. it is time for us to act admirably simply for the joy of living greatly. it is time we stop intimidating ppl through threats of violence or emotional abuse, and allow the freedom of thought and personal will/responsibility to steer our lives.
i am a mother. i do not want my children to look at me as a threat. i do not want them to be threatened by anyone. i want them to live their lives according to what they think is moral and just. i also do not want them to do things for other ppl to respect them. when reward is the driving force behind our actions they are not free will.