Greg Rolfe

2 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility ~10 ·

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Respect, this one word carries so much history. It also seems to have different meanings to different people. And while that is to be expected, should they be so different? After looking up the word in multiple dictionaries I began to understand why there exists the variations of understanding we are used to seeing.

Now the word respect in the most general sense appears to mean; to hold someone or something in special regard. So it would appear that to hold the door open for an individual unless they are known to you is indeed not a sign of respect but more of personal honor. To demonstrate regard for individuals to whom you are not previously associated with should not be considered respect. I find this interesting as I had always believed that I was showing respect to ladies when I held a door open for them. Apparently I was not, I was demonstrating honor. Strange.

I expects that many of you who scan this might have agreed with my original belief. So I expect my question should be how do we show respect to a group of people or individuals. Or is that indeed the problem, is that an inaccurate use of the word respect? To elevate an individual with whom you have regard is respect but would that hold for a group? Is it more accurate to say that my person honor directs me to show deference to that group?

I intended to actually talk about showing respect in our culture with the intent to encourage and build up those around us and promote unity. But after looking at the word I wonder if I am completely wrong. Not in my desire to build up and encourage you and those I meet but in how. Should I be encouraging you to have honor and let honor direct you to encourage and build unity?

Perhaps but then honor is a word even more misunderstood than respect. Though I still believe these two words if applied to our own lives could at least guide and grant us some measure of insight into how we might benefit our community. People need to have hope and sometimes all it take is for one person to show a little kindness.

We can be people of honor and respect, we can live lives that offer kindness and encouragement. Honor at its core simply says I stand for something greater than myself and respect enables us to lift others up.

Will you be a person of honor and demonstrate respect? Will you encourage and seek to build unity? You never know who's life you might touch it might even be mine.

Have a very productive day!


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Greg Rolfe

2 years ago #7

Thank you John for input, indeed the Bard has a point.

Greg Rolfe

2 years ago #6

Hi Ken, thank you for your dictionary search. I noticed similar entries but found that qualifiers applied. I too was brought up to respect my elders though this teaching has begun to slip away with increasing momentum. In regards to having fewer elders to respect that too is slipping away. Had the privilege last night to lay a wonderful lady to rest. I was a nice service.

John Rylance

2 years ago #5

I agree, as the Bard wrote "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." As opposed to Gertrude Stein's "a rose is a rose is a rose." Semantics is more than I say tomayto you say tomarto. It's not what you call the action it's the effect the action has. Had you thought Ken that as those you respect grow fewer, those who respect you increase? Finally respect is not a right, it has be earnt.

Ken Boddie

2 years ago #4

I believe, Greg, that you will find with a simple dictionary search, that the word 'respect' relates to both of the following: ● "a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements", similar to what you define in your "most general sense" above; and ● "due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others". Hence, your example of holding the door open would still qualify as 'respect' under the above second meaning. Irrespective of the semantics of what any of us wish to call how we behave with or respond to others, a little consideration, thoughtfulness, attentiveness politeness, courtesy, or civility, costs absolutely nothing and can be an investment that may return an unexpected bonus. Incidentally, Greg, I was brought up to respect my elders, but I'm now at the age that I'm running out of people to respect. 🤣

Greg Rolfe

2 years ago #3

That is a very good thought Pascal. Thank you.

Pascal Derrien

2 years ago #2

Respect is probably more about humility than elevation :-)

Greg Rolfe

2 years ago #1


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