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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Normally I try to refrain from commenting on political or philisophical topics. My wife insists that it's bad for buisness and I am running a buisness here. She is problably right, but I just can't help it this time.

I read in a thread here recently someone commenting that respect is earned not given. It's not the first time I have heard this concept. In fact I hear it all the time. However I have a different view.

I think we should default to a position where we give respect until it's UNearned. Isn't it extreemly egotistical to default to a position where someone should strive to earn your respect? What makes your respect worth earning anyway? If you require someone to earn your respect that would seem to say that you think your respect is worth earning. That would require other people to give you respect before you have earned it from them. That's egotistical and hypocritical.

Greg Gordon,
www.hiperformancestore.com
 

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for me, its " every one gets respect till proven otherwise, then they will have to earn it again." but then I am a little old fashoned and old.
cliff
 

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Normally I try to refrain from commenting on political or philisophical topics. My wife insists that it's bad for buisness and I am running a buisness here. She is problably right, but I just can't help it this time.

I read in a thread here recently someone commenting that respect is earned not given. It's not the first time I have heard this concept. In fact I hear it all the time. However I have a different view.

I think we should default to a position where we give respect until it's UNearned. Isn't it extreemly egotistical to default to a position where someone should strive to earn your respect? What makes your respect worth earning anyway? If you require someone to earn your respect that would seem to say that you think your respect is worth earning. That would require other people to give you respect before you have earned it from them. That's egotistical and hypocritical.

Greg Gordon,
www.hiperformancestore.com

Does this mean that if you don't respect someone that you will not treat them with respect?
 

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In my mind, there's a difference between courtesy and respect. Courtesy is good manners and the grease that allows lots of different personalities to coexist in harmony. I treat everyone with courtesy and civility. However, having "respect" is a deference or admiration to virtue and is earned to my way of thinking. If it's not, then it's not worth much, is it?

Precise use of language is important.
 

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In my mind, there's a difference between courtesy and respect. Courtesy is good manners and the grease that allows lots of different personalities to coexist in harmony. I treat everyone with courtesy and civility. However, having "respect" is a deference or admiration to virtue and is earned to my way of thinking. If it's not, then it's not worth much, is it?

Precise use of language is important.
Is not being courteous to someone also being respectful? I don't think that you really need to respect a person in order to treat them with respect. Treating someone with respect is the same as being courteous.
 

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But if you don't respect someone, you can still interact with them in a courteous manner. I think being courteous reflects on you. Respecting someone is a reflection on them.
 

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But if you don't respect someone, you can still iteract with them in a courteous manner. I think being courteous reflects on you. Respecting someone is a reflection on them.
 

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Being respectful of someone is, among other things, being courteous. But someone can be courteous to someone and still not necessarily repect them. It is a reflection of one's manners (as John quite rightly put it). IMHO.
 

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I take my definition from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 1997:

"to consider deserving of high regard"

No mention of any relationship to courtesy, except under "disrespect" which is interestingly enough defined as "discourtesy." Also noted is that the word "disrespect" is a noun.

Given the state of language these days, you'll also note that in "gansta"
vernacular "disrespect" is incorrectly used as a verb. It's difficult to be "courteous" and not crack a smile when someone uses it as a verb.
 

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In the ambiguous world of human language, I suspect the differences on the word "respect" cluster around the distinction between whether "respecting" someone means that you consider him credible and his opinions likely to be a guide to navigating reality, or whether you consider "respecting" someone to mean that you treat him honorably as a fellow human.

Without knowing Greg, I'd say it's likely that he'd not treat someone poorly just because the person hadn't specifically earned his respect, and that even though he "respects" in this sense many people about whom he knows nothing, he'd not go out and build an engine based on a conversation with a random one of them.
 

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On my better days I agree with the thrust of this thread, it’s fun to debate the nuances. There is a kernel of wisdom in the truism “respect is earned” applicable to competition. Often touted, a maxim from positions of privilege to the powerless. Respect is earned by leaders from their subordinates; a measure of maturity, learned not earned in my experience. The mis-use of the word respect by either gansta or ganster is to antithetical purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
This sure has been a popular post. I wish to address a few of the questions or issues I feel were pointed in my direction.
1. Alfacliff and I seem to be on the same page.

2. ossodiseppia: Yes, absolutely. However since I default to a respect given standpoint, the person in question would have had to wrong me somehow. Why would I continue treating that person with respect?

3. Roadtrip. I like your post although it opens the door for a battle of dictionary definitions.

4. Most of the next posts make my case in response #3.

5. lowmileage, you are a man of few words. Too few for me to comment.

6. The Atom smasher is dead on in my view. Just because I respect someone does not mean I agree with him on everything. I have respect for plenty of people who do things differently than I do.

7. rogerspeed, In my experience respect is typically unearned by leaders. For example most kids have respect for thier coach on the first day of practice. I know I did. That doesn't mean I had respect for them by the end of the season. I have found the same to be true working out in the real world.
 

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I was raised as a Southern boy and I was taught that you always try and show courtesy & respect no matter what kind of obnoxious moron you may be dealing with. What seems to confuse most people today is admiration & esteem.
I guess that means I'm agreeing with Greg that I will do my best to be courteous and respectful to you until you give me a reason not to be. But, there are a few people out there that I hold in high esteem and just flat out admire. With our current society and attitudes today it sure seems that # is getting smaller(or am I just a cynical S.O.B.?)
 
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