It’s time we had a little chat about R.E.S.P.E.C.T. 259



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Respect (noun): due regard for the feelings, wishes, or rights of others – (Google, 2015).

A few weeks ago when Starts at 60 asked the question, “If you could only teach your grandchildren one thing, what would it be?”

The most popular answer from the 264 comments was “respect”.

When you type “respect” into the Google search bar, the first highest hit other than Google’s own definitions is a page that defines respect as, “a quality seriously lacking in today’s society”.

Yet on an article that was published on Starts at 60 the Saturday just passed about whether or not we should respect our politicians more the general consensus was no, because respect should be earned.

So now I’m asking the question of every single person in the Starts at 60 community, do you really believe that?

Because I don’t believe respect should be earned. I believe respect is a basic common courtesy that we pay one another regardless of whether we like them, dislike them, like their job or their performance or dislike their job or their performance. I feel that respect is something that we as individuals owe to everyone around us.

Imagine walking down the street and it being totally appropriate and acceptable for someone to call us a name, tell us we’re ugly, push us over or tell us we’re rubbish. If respect was something that can only be earned then this behaviour would be acceptable – because we don’t know strangers and they would have no need to show us respect.

Imagine if on our roads anyone could fly in and cut anyone else off or merge without waiting for a gap or not wait for traffic lights and pedestrian crossings. If respect was something that could only be earned then this is the kind of world we’d live in.

Imagine if I came into your workplace and after standing there for one minute I told you that you were incompetent, bad at your job and dumb. If respect was something that could only be earned then this would be acceptable and normal behaviour.

Imagine if someone was invited into your house and then they trashed it. If respect was something that could only be earned then this would be acceptable and normal behaviour.

You see, we rely on the automatic right of respect every single day to live our lives in happiness and harmony, yet we throw it out the window so quickly when it comes to other people.

I believe that every single person who commented on that article saying that respect should be earned and that it is appropriate to disrespect people is a hypocrite – you wouldn’t be as happy as you are today if it wasn’t for respect. It doesn’t matter what your opinions, thoughts, race, religion or nationality is. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a politician, a teacher, a priest or a police officer. We are all owed respect and we should all be respectful – all of the time.

I believe that respect is a basic human right. I believe that every single person in the world is entitled to respect. In fact, the Australian Human Rights website states that the principals of human rights are based on dignity, equality and respect.

So next time you’re freely disrespecting others, remember that you’re a hypocrite. And while you’re there, think about the example you’re setting for your grandchildren – because you sure as hell aren’t teaching them respect.


Do you agree?

Guest Contributor

  1. What you believe is your choice but others have a different opened the gate here..that article was about Tony Abbott, that man lied to get into office, I don’t respect liars, he lied to the whole country..if you respect that then you have different morals to what I do.

    3 REPLY
    • I have to agree with Leanna, I don’t respect a person who lies and who continues to terrorise dentention and when told these children are being abuse physically and sexually says “things happen” but I will respect the Hague when they respect the breaches of international law that our current Government disrespects. My grandchildren respect me because I stand up for refugees not because I stand up for a cruel government who are the highest wage earners in the country and for the most part the least caring. Respect has many sides but does the Abbott Government respect the men and women who fought for and worked hard to make this country great when they cut services and pensions to the elderly – I think not.

      1 REPLY
    • Most politicians lie, that is how they get elected. The last honest one that I can remember was Bob Brown, since then, both Parties, have been, and still are, led by liars. I have no respect for politicians and I do not expect that my children and grandchildren should have to show insincere “respect”.

  2. I give respect where it is earned, you do the right thing by me and I do the right thing back ..Leanna is right that article was about Tony Abbott and your calling us hypocrites?..where was the respect for Julia Gillard..don’t demand from me what you never gave yourself

  3. To say we should respect each other is correct but there are always going to be people young and old who are a law unto themselves.The other day at my place work in the front foyer I saw 3 bullies come up another staff member. They placed themselves in front of her and had a go at her [she was supposed to have said something] in a very public place and they will get away with it camera and all.

  4. Ok point taken in that regard. But there there are many forms of respect.

  5. I agree to disagree it is a very hard subject to define no so black and white as you put it . I consider myself as a respectful person but not everyone deservse respect there are many people in the world such as leaders or those in powerful positions who have lost the respect for others and have made peoples lives harder .We can only give respect to those who show respect to others . Otherwise we would be living in a big brother society where respect was a rule. Love on the otherhand should be given freely to others as God gives it to us and through love respect is gained .

    1 REPLY
    • I am sure the Nazi’s demanded respect for Hitler, but in reality he was a man who we all scorn..your right, we can only respect those who do respectful things and I consider lying to a whole country to be a disrespectful act.thanks for the post

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