Respect, A Thing Earned. Not Demanded.

By- Mourya Koundinya

We all might have come across a scenario where we are taught to respect everyone, especially elders. It was explained to us by our parents, teachers, family members so and so forth. What is the meaning of respect? Respect means a feeling of admiration. It may be for anything like the Person qualities, achievements, etc., the list goes on and on as admiration can be of any type.

As one of the famous philosopher Albert Camus once said: “Nothing is more despicable than respect based on fear.” It clearly shows that we respect elders out of fear, not based on behaviour, forgetting the vital fact that respect is mutually exclusive. Often people confuse being kind to giving respect. Both are entirely different things. By this, we lose our self-respect. Let us consider the following scenario.

Two people meet on a train who know each other. One is a female character, and the other is a male character. Here is how their conversation goes.

Female: “Hello! It’s nice to meet you after a long time”. How are you?

Male: “I’m good. How are you? I’ve heard that you have completed your graduation. I have a good match for you where the boy has a good job and the right family. Want me to share the details?

Female: ” I’m good. Thank you! And no thanks. I have my dreams to perceive.

Male: “Dreams? You may have anything, but you have to realise that you are women. Ultimately you have to marry someone. You are young, and you may not know all this.”

Female: ” I may be young, but I know what I want to do with my life. The marriage you are talking about is a part of my life and my choice. Firstly, stop thinking that there is a gender bias in dreams. It’s human nature to have goals and strive to fulfil them. Stop interfering in others lives and mind your business. And the girl gets down the train and walks home.

In the above scenario ideally, we would say the girl stood up for herself, and her self respect don’t we? Let me tell you that the female characters age is 23 years and the male character is a family friend aged 50. Now, as I revealed age, some would think the girl should have given respect to his age and would have handled the situation better by being a bit polite. Why would we not consider it ideal when the person is old? Why does old age demand respect despite the person being rude? Why would we lose our self-respect to someone’s age?

It’s simple guys! “Be nice to everyone, but respect the one who deserves.” Please do not lose your self-respect for anyone’s age.

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