When did the notion that ‘respect is earned’ start to dominate the thoughts of a child-rearing society?
Respect is taught, not earned.
My daughter will learn to respect Life without question. She will defer to the dignity that should be afforded every living being in her midst, whether plant, animal or person.
People should be afforded respect for the simple reason that they are human beings. Elders, teachers and peers should be afforded respect without question. And showing respect for property and inanimate objects is an extension of respect for Life.
This does not mean that one should accept ill treatment. Respect should not be confused with submission or indoctrination. Respect is an attitude that can be applied even in situations of conflict and anger. It is an assimilation of manners and consideration.
My daughter will give up her seat in the bus, she will throw her rubbish in the bin and she will say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ without reward. It is an ingrained moral behaviour.
Respect requires practise and is often taught through example. We teach people how to treat us by how we treat others.
There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angelship. – Mark Twain