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We do not demand respect: we earn it. It is a matter of reciprocity. Getty images

Respect. We earn it.

I remember a colleague posted on their status, “I am online but busy,….I can’t reply now”. It got me thinking, “if you got time to post this on your status, I guess you could have sent a direct message to whoever was trying to communicate with you”. I believe it had good intentions but without a sign of respect for whoever was trying to communicate with you.

Most of the time, we keep asking for respect from people: unfortunately, respect is never demanded but earned. The way you behave towards a person, be it a child or an adult, will automatically induce similar results. There is and will always be a substantial difference between ‘fear’ and ‘respect’. Most of us fear our employers but don’t respect them. Reason? They haven’t earned that right for respect despite demanding it all the time.

A six-year-old kid once told the mum, “what do you benefit from backing at me all the time: do you think I am too young not to understand when you just talk?” Woohoo! Astonishing! Parents often complain about how their children never listen or respect people. Ask yourself, as a parent, how often do you cherish that child? Whatever ways we treat our children, they will treat others.

We do not demand respect: we earn it. It is a matter of reciprocity.
Interracial fists collide. Getty images.

If you shout at your spouse at home, your children will also do the same at the teachers, neighbours, visitors, and fellow children. A Sheikh once narrated how he visited a family: and the child chased him out of his chair, yes, the child had to since he is also always chased the same way out of the parents’ chairs without respect. Then we blame the children for their misbehaviours when these are all learnt actions from parents.

Read this.

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Besides blaming the child or even parents, didn’t the Sheikh know the etiquettes of visitors? Why sit before they tell you to do so? (This is a debate for another day). Let’s list some of the things that we ought to do as a sign of respect;

  •  Answering a phone call is a sign of respect despite it being your phone you bought with your money, but respect me and respond if you are engaged, let the caller know.
  • Fulfilling.
  •  Paying debt.
  •  Requesting and not demanding something that you have a right to.
  •  Humility.
  •  Humanity.

And others.

We do not demand respect: we earn it. It is a matter of reciprocity.

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Abbas Ahmad Kafumbe

Clinical Psychologist TPO & Pearl mental Wellness centre

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