Wednesday 16 May 2012


Respect - what does it REALLY mean ?

Way too many use that word but don't really think about its meaning. Are there many types of respect, and if yes which ones. Is there a general respect and a particular respect ?  Is respect an a priori state or is it an earned trait ? Is respect culturally ideologically bound or is it an all encompassing concept regardless ?

People are quick to jump to their guns and give you a whole verbal diarrhea  of what respect means...I think it is time to really stop and reconsider the definitions and redefinitions of respect.

Can you respect a thief, a liar, a manipulator, an embezzler, a crook, a torturer, a rapist, a thug, a killer  --- is there anything about what they say or do worthy of respect ?

Can  you respect a racist, a misogynist ?

Can you respect nations that pillage, plunder, destroy, devastate ?

Are the above categories worthy of respect ?

Can a transgressor be respected ?

If you are to respect the right to life ...then those who take away the right to life are not worthy of respect.

Opinions : people say you are to respect people's opinions. What does that mean - respect people's opinions. People are entitled to their opinions, I may or may not respect the content of their opinions. People say you are to respect people's life styles and choices. People are entitled to choose their life styles, I don't see why am obligated to respect that.

People confuse respect with tolerance. One can tolerate without necessarily respecting.  But then again what is tolerable and what is not, what is acceptable and what is not. Aren't these notions again, culturally, politically bound to a particular time and context ?. Of course they are.

I just think that respect, tolerance, acceptance are not as black and white as people like to believe they are.  The instant take away discourse wants you to believe it is so, mass production of words that are in vogue. Reality of meanings is a different story.