“Respect your elders” we were always told when we were children. Funny that now many of us are “elders” and look to get respect. We tend to think of respect as something we need to show towards those in authority, due to their position of responsibility. We think of the definition that says  respect is “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” Those in positions of authority, and those who support them, cite this as deferring to their direction. Unfortunately often we have to respect the office since we can’t always respect the occupant of it—like some recent political examples.

But we also need to show it to others around us at the same level. One definition of respect is “due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others.” This is a more mutual action. Respect for others works both ways and is a community building process. We need to be treating each other with respect, just for who we are. 

Respect does not mean always agreeing with either the other person or their ideas or stands on issues. Respect does not mean overlooking faults or failing to call out misdeeds. But it means that we treat others the way that we would want to be treated, and being an advocate for the growth of everyone. Respect means that no matter who we are, where we are from, or what our differing backgrounds are, we accept each other just as we are—fallible human beings. 

Respect is vital for team building, in every aspect of life, not just politics. 

Photo by Disdain