It’s a virtue that has seen better days. We want to feel respected. In our pursuit of this respect we deserve, we often end up disrespecting others. Yes, it is a quagmire of traditional and cultural expectations that get misinterpreted. We use these as excuses to act disrespectfully towards others. After all, they did it first.
Right in its squishy center, respect asks very little. It asks that I appreciate the humanity of every person. It asks that I acknowledge their voice. I do not have to agree, but I do need to be quite long enough to listen and appreciate. It requires that I accept the capacity of every person to make their own decisions, and afford them the opportunity to bear the consequences of the same.
It prompts me to ask, to engage, to celebrate instead of to tell, to enforce and to restrict.
Respect asks in return that you do the same.
Respect is the foundation on which we build trust. Trust is a prerequisite for commerce.
The alternative is corruption. That leads to even more regulation.
Respect is easier. It’s also very hard.