We like to think that we have value and can contribute to our social group and relationships in our own, meaningful way.
Verbal and Non-Verbal
Respect is important to just about everyone. Some are verbal about their wish to be respected. Others don’t quite put it into words, yet they know the difference between being treated in a respectful manner and being made to feel lesser than by their peers and associates.
Respect is something that people want because they hope that others will value, honor, and appreciate them. Even a small toddler has a sense of his or her self, plus a wish to have needs met while receiving acknowledgment and courteous kind action from others. It’s not expressed in quite this sophisticated fashion, but yes – even little kids know that they want and deserve basic human respect.
Why Respect Is Important
Respect is important because it has to do with our self-worth and what people think of us. We like to think that we have value and can contribute to our social group and relationships in our own, meaningful way. Individuality is emphasized in matters that concern respect. Each person is different and unique, and yet we also share basic human characteristics and common ground.
Again, this goes back to the golden rule and wanting to be treated as an equal by others. Do unto others as you would want to have done to you or, treat others as you would want to be treated.
This implies that we are the same and that all people should have the same rights. And yet it also implies that as your own unique being, there is the potential to be singled out, both in honor of your unique qualities and contributions or as a put-down of who you are and what you represent.
It’s About Equality
Respect is about equal treatment with regard to the individual as having unique needs, serving a unique purpose, and having the right to express their individuality for others to honor, acknowledge and regard as being true and worthy.