Is respect earned or deserved?

During an argument with an older person, this young boy said: “Fools also grow old” and though it sounded a bit rude, it also closed the debate. Because fools grow old too, it means that the opinions of a person with grey hair can be garbage or wrong. In philosophy, when the opinion of an authority on a topic is used as evidence to support an argument, it is called the argument from authority. Which means that instead of arguing on a logical basis, they argue on a basis of authority. This can mostly be likened to the argument that older people should be respected. But is respect truly earned or deserved?

Respect is deserved. Whilst growing up, we had fear/respect for our parents and elders(brothers, cousins, aunts and uncles) for the mere reason that they were older than us. We were mostly scared of disrespecting them. But even in this infantile or fragile states, we knew somehow that they deserved our respect. Was it because they were they before us? Maybe it is because they had been there before us and had seen things happen. They had also made things happen, even if not for us. We also mostly gave them the respect because that’s what we were told — and so, we gave then the respect they often said they deserved. But did they really deserve it even? What did our parents ever do to deserve our respect? They did all, but earn our respect. So why then did we give it to them with so much ease? Or was it with ease?

Respect is earned. Lucky to live in an era when the Gen Z have become more expressive and rebellious, it is a beautiful sight to see children/people demand(sometimes extremist) that their respect be served. In this time when children demand their respect, respect has to be earned and rightfully so. It has become a quid pro quo and none has the monopoly of respect. Whilst we criticize this new generation for their excess liberties, we also applaud their emancipation and their fight for the respect of their basic freedoms as humans. Now, respect is earned. If you demand respect, you shall give respect. Nothing shall go for nothing.

In all of this, it is a good thing that we have learned as the years and eras have passed, that respect is truly earned. Even the respect that seems deserved, is earned unconscionable. So as we carry about our various activities, let’s remember that we can’t receive without giving. If you want respect, you must give respect.

It’s never cool for men to lose their calm.

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