Of, What is Respect

It’s unconditional – in its first and obvious avataar. Because it streams from a certain perception of what you see. Respect, unlike the other mangled words in the English language, remains unadulterated. We can chose to make many meanings of the word, yet, the core of it remains untouched and pure.

While most folks who read this post will disagree, there is no one way of demonstrating respect. Is the person who chides you at every questionable instance respectful of you and your actions? Which further begets the question – what do they respect? Your actions? Or you – as a person? Further, do the respect only the intentions and the gains of your actions? Or, if they do understand it at all, do they respect the philosophy of it all? Do they subscribe to that philosophy? Or is it sweet glossy lip-service?

Respect, to my mind is one of the few unconditional emotions of all. The moment you question it – by any non-objective parameter – it is lost – forever.

And then, it so happens, if you are ever (god forbid) able to experience it first hand that you discover that the what you have experienced as respect is never ever a factor of who you are; but a factor of where and what you are. Watching a funny – almost senseless – film like Johnny English – treats you to this phenomenon. Within what you consider your closest coterie, you live a chance of living the life of a persona non grata.

But it is a good life to go through – because it becomes your own personal “Buddha” moment. Where, you become free of the bondage of being a respected for something that you held, rather than something that you are.

To that sense, I salute. For it has reminded me of who I am.


4 thoughts on “Of, What is Respect

  1. “The moment you question it – by any non-objective
    parameter – it is lost – forever”

    I am missing the object of this sentence. Question what? The philosophy or respect itself? If the former, why do you feel that questioning a philosophy, or even disagreeing with it (albeit politely), amounts to disrespect for the philosophy or the person himself? If the latter, how does one ‘question respect’? 🙂

    I am intrigued by this post. Truly. Respect and rebellion are an interesting twosome to keep in balance, no? 🙂 Ask anyone who is 18yrs old. 🙂 🙂


    • Question the emotion that is respect.

      And it is interesting that you mention an 18-year old – because I wrote this post after looking at a life of an almost-80-year old. 🙂


      • hmm… and I thought everyone accepted that respect is a worthy emotion, by default. Like an axiom or something. Whoever questions the validity of an emotion such as respect?? That’s like saying ‘fear is unfounded’ or ‘there is no such thing as being sad’ (a form of which is ‘boys don’t cry’)! May I ask you to probably sketch the circumstance that led to writing this? It might help contextualize this post better. Seems a little unanchored now – at least to me, it goes without saying that respect exists as a valid emotion and there is no question about it. So, I fail to understand why someone might have gone as far as questioning it – surely they have a reason! This is intriguing.


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