The Ingredients of Respect

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Analyze the following statement I received in an email (author unknown):

"I was raised to show respect. I was taught to knock before I open a door. Say hello when I enter a room. Say please and thank you, and to have respect for my elders. I would let another person have my seat if they need it. Say ‘yes sir’ and ‘no sir,’ and help others when they need me to, not stand on the sidelines and watch. Hold the door for the person behind me, say ‘excuse me’ when it is needed and to love people for who they are and not for what I can get from them and most importantly, I was also raised to treat people exactly how I would like to be treated by others. It is called respect."

Is it? 

I suggest they are  the (A) and (I)  components of respect. 

There is an (E) component that should not be ignored. The philosopher Immanuel Kant defined respect as recognition of the sovereignty of the other person to think differently. You respect their undeniable right to think independently and not to have to accept your way of thinking. 

Why would you do that? Because you learn from disagreements as long as they are presented respectfully, i.e., the other person also recognizes your right to think differently. 

When we respectfully disagree, we might learn something we did not know before the discussion took place. Disagreements are exchanges of information from which, if handled respectfully, new, valuable information might emerge. 

There is also a (P) ingredient of respect: I am allowed to act on something with which I am involved without interruptions or blockages. 

Respect has PAEI components and all are important if you really want to be respectful. 

Just thinking,

Ichak Kalderon Adizes 

Written by
Dr. Ichak Adizes
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