Should respect be demanded or earned?

Something that a lot of people have difficulty dealing with is respect. The reason behind why it is a very difficult and annoying subject to talk about or understand is because many people have miss interpreted the reason as to who it should be given. Over the years reasons as to why it should be given to an individual has greatly evolved and surprisingly de-evolved as well. This de-evolution is clear as the misinterpretations has made it quite apparent.


The reasons to give it have changed since the medieval times. The reasons to give it have changed since the medieval times and even before that where it was given to those who were both the strongest and had the greatest leadership qualities. At times it was also given to those who had conducted great deeds or who were considered as special back then such as; winning wars, war veterans, Mystics, etc.

Later on after the medieval ages people began to give respect even to the learned ones who both practiced and taught as it was considered to be a great boon to be a learned one who helped the growth of society. Soon those who began to risk their lives so as to protect others as well as those who used their knowledge to help others such as doctors, scientists, etc. Were beginning to be respected.  But this soon became a turning point for the reasons to give it started to to be misinterpreted, this is true as the previously mentioned positions and deeds had inspired people to work harder as well has gave hope for the future so as to be respected in the same way in the years to come; but as time moved by the misinterpretations became more and more non sensible. Examples of some of these misinterpretations can be seen as;

  • Possessing a higher post means he needs to be respected.
  • Being of an older age by default means the individual has more experience in life and hence is considered wise and respect is hence due
  • One good deed leads to a life time of remembrance and respect

These few examples show clear misinterpretation of how one deserves respect. This is further becomes an inconvenience as the same individual a who believe as such begin to think that they have the right to be respected and will hence demand the respect. A truth that many of these individuals are of course missing is respect cannot be demanded if they have earned it they will receive it in due time, but when they begin to demand it is when their downfall shall begin and when people will no longer look up to these individuals nor will they respect them. Some of these same individuals with power or a high post or position live under a false pretence where they mistake fear as respect, not only do these individuals believe that their higher position deserves respect they also try to command it and when they begin this process they lose sight of what respect and fear actually are.

There is a clear line between those who have earned respect and those who demand it those that have earned it are definitely the people who others will look upto and who will be followed and considered as great example, where as those who demand it have the false impression that fear equals to respect and hence are condemned within the minds of the people.

So ask yourself this, “if you truly believe you deserve respect is it rightly I demand the respect or is it better to silently move on to your next goal?”

Damien N. Sangma


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