The word "respect" now is confusing to me. The definition I knew was: "to show esteem, or, to honor" and this meant that one had to do something to deserve that esteem or honor. The "honor" of a doploma
is bestowed on those who earned it through a series of consistant
studies and work, consequently we respect those who have earned a diploma.
Recently, in black culture, we hear of those who are harmed because they did not show due respect to an assailant. The term, "He dissed me" was all it took to resort to violence. The need for respect in this manner is troubling. Does the requested respect come from the realization that you might be slashed or shot? Where is there honor in that?
A similar confusion came when Ryan, my Grandson, told me he quit his job as a bagger
at a supermarket because he did not get respect from the people for whom he bagged groceries. Doing that work is a service job and people expect the service for which they pay. If you become one of the best baggers
in the store the management might honor you with an increase in pay, or a badge saying "Best Bagger
In The World" That increse
in pay is the respect you get for doing a good job. But customers have no role in this.
One more source of confusion, Sean recently complained because the workers in his school cafeteria did not show respect for the people they served. We all expect to be served when buying something and we expect a certain decorum in the manner of being served. As consumers, we have done nothing but offer money for this service which has nothing to do with esteem or honor in our affluent society.
In my view, the President of our Country deserves our respect because of the position he holds. It is one of honor and he did accomplish much to attain that position. Also, his responsibility to all citizens to work for, their good, their security and their prosperity is so demanding that he deserves all the honor we can bestow, and I respect him for that.
Has the word "respect" changed in our popular culture in some way that I have missed?