We Earn Respect, It Is Not Owed Us

A white guy on a video clip I chanced upon angrily lashed out at [people] demanding respect. People should respect me for the position I hold seemed to be his plea.

I have run into this situation before. I remember hearing that from a leader in an organization. My response was that respect is earned. You will become respected in the measure that you earn it. Respect comes from who you are not from your title.

And that person grew and matured and retired respected by the entire community.

It is almost like a physics equation. To the extent that our actions and attitudes toward others are respectful so shall respect from others return to us.

I’m half-way through a book recently recommended—The Ever-Transcending Spirit by Toru Sato. (He is Lebanese, not Japanese, by the way, if it matters.) He teaches psychology at a small college in Pennsylvania. This is a small book, only some 105 pages. It is exquisitely logical and easy to follow, yet it delves deeply into us. He states this:

If we live harmoniously with everyone in the world, we are increasing the number of people who are respectful of each other and are able to live in harmony with each other.

Toru Sato

Thanks to women speaking up more forcefully and many men beginning to listen, many formerly respected men due to their positions lost that respect when who they were was made public. Just so these days with racial attitudes. CEOs and other leaders have been forced from their positions of authority when their racist attitudes have seen the light of day.

I pray often for these many people who are suddenly out in the cold. May they find what my acquaintance of years ago found—maturity and a change of attitude that led to a person worthy of respect.

May we all be respectful and deserve respect in return.

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