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There Are Two Types of Respect: One that is Given and One that is Earned
A common adage that I have heard said is “respect is not given; it is earned,” sounds like a very wise creed to follow, but, I recently conducted an internet search for it, and I discovered a series of articles that denounce that adage, saying that it is ridiculous, because all people deserve respect, regardless of their station in life.
Those articles have a very noble intention with their message, for which I respect them, but they all miss a very vital point: there are two types of respect, one of which is, indeed, freely given, and the other of which must be earned.
First, there is the type of respect that is given: this is the form of respect that all people are expected to demonstrate toward all other people, they are expected to be polite and courteous to others, including, but not limited to, receptionists, secretaries, waiters/waitresses, flight attendants, grocery baggers, cashiers, or other menial positions that are clearly at or near the bottoms of their hierarchies. I imagine that very few people ever willingly wish to be in such positions, so giving respect to such people shall help them to feel better about being in such positions.
Second, there is the type of respect that is earned: this is the form of respect that people are expected to show toward doctors, lawyers, judges, airplane pilots, police officers, high-ranking military officers, CEO’s, politicians, or other people in positions of expertise and/or authority. These people have worked very hard to achieve the positions that they have, sometimes for many years, and they have endured great hardships and accumulated a great wealth of knowledge about their fields. That type of respect is not freely given, it must be earned through hardships and countless hours of effort and experience.
What does everyone else say about this? Do you agree that there are two types of respect?
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