v.t. To consider worthy of esteem; to regard with honor.  
n. Esteem; regard;consideration; honor

I've been thinking about this word a lot lately. People bandy it about so carelessly, expecting to receive it but never even pausing to wonder if they truly command it or deserve it.

Like in most Asian countries, the expression of respect is firmly rooted in the Filipino culture. We are expected to show and give respect to everyone around us but most especially to our elders, whether they be family, friends or acquaintances. It also applies to people in authority and to those who have accomplished much personally or professionally.

However, while I may be respectful towards others, it doesn't mean that I'll continue to respect someone who doesn't know how to give it back. It irritates me no end when people use their age or position in life to expect or demand respect when they behave like eight-year-old brats. It may be given to you freely at the beginning but to keep it, you have to earn it. Being older or being more influential doesn't give you a free ticket to belittle, demean or disregard what others have to say.

Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Listen and keep an open mind. Genuine respect for you will soon follow.

"Respect is a two-way street: if you want to get it, you've got to give it." - R. G. Risch

Mood Music: Everyday People by The Family Stone and Prince