Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Respect Earned and Deserved

Society, and those of us who live in it, has this way of giving respect to those who are very vocal, those who stand up in the public eye and demand it, those who seem to command respect simply by virtue of their position in life. This leads me to pose a question; has respect become something that is entirely about show? Unfortunately, many times, this does seem to be the case.

Many people I know who are endowed with quiet strength, who tend to live in the background yet play a vital and often unnoticed role in the lives of the people around them don't seem to command the same level of respect that their peers do.

Just because these people don't stand up and say, "Hey, look at me! I did this, I am so-and-so and I deserve respect!" or because no one else says it for them doesn't mean that they should get less. Indeed, I could argue that there are many 'ordinary' people I know in the background who have a lot of strength and character and deserve more respect than some of their peers who are better known, in leadership positions and who tend to have a large social presence.

This is the point where I feel I must clarify myself. Not all the respect given to the leaders among us is undeserved. In fact, most of it is not. However, instead of freely giving respect to those that society tells us deserve it, I'd like to see a day when it is given to people who deserve it by virtue of having earned it.

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