500-word essay about respect
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Importance of Respect
After being hired as an HR manager in a small start-up company, Imani started to notice that her colleagues constantly disregarded her ideas; this made her become increasingly worried about whether she was accepted or not. After experiencing the same instances of disregard for six months, she felt so much disrespected and decided to leave the company. This scenario shows the importance people place on being respected; respect is something that individuals demand to be accorded throughout the society (in organizations, in teams, groups, or even in relationships). It is not uncommon to hear that people break off their engagements or seek divorce because they have been disrespected. Hoban (1977) defines respect as ‘an openness to others, esteem for others because of their human decency and the degree of excellence of their performance’ (p.232). In broader terms, respect is an essential component of interpersonal relationships and personal self-identity (De Crème and Mulder, 2007). Thus, respect has implications for the psychological, physical wellbeing, and quality of life of individuals.
Respect is a vital facet of how people relate to each other and is a critical factor of a just society. One of the basic principles of moral philosophies is that individuals have a moral obligation to treat others respectfully (De Crème and Mulder, 2007). Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan noted in his report during the 59th session Of the United Nations General Assembly that, “all human beings have the right to be treated with dignity and respect” (Annan, 2005 p. 34). To Annan, such dignity and respect is accorded when people are allowed to enjoy all their human rights and are accordingly protected by the law. In The Metaphysics of Morals, Emmanuel Kant noted that “it is a duty to respect others as human beings” (Cited in Hill, 2000 p. 64). This implies that every member of the society is equal and therefore should deserve an equal level of respect. Hence, receiving respect can be regarded as an essential element of social justice (De Crème and Mulder, 2007). Respect, therefore, has an important implication in influencing procedural fairness in society. According to De Crème and Mulder (2007) receiving respect promotes equality and allows people, despite their background, race, color, gender, ability, or disability, to obtain good resources such as access to quality healthcare, education, and employment. The ability to be treated equally is important in improving the wellbeing of individuals across various dimensions including psychological and physical, and thus, quality of life.
Similarly, receiving respect accords people a sense of inclusiveness and belongingness in society. De Crème and Mulder (2007) assert that human beings are social creatures; their social life is critically defined by the nature of their relationships with others. In such a relationship, respect signals that one is recognized as an important member of the society and is fully accepted to belong. This level of acceptance is not just based on status, merit, or rank, but is instead “rooted in the dignity of humanity, an unconditional and non-quantitative value attributed to everyone with the potential capacities to be a moral agent” (Hill, 2000 p. 64). The feeling of belongingness positively affects an individual’s cognitive, physical, and behavioral capabilities. For instance, not feeling accepted by others influences social isolation, withdrawal, and loneliness which significantly affects one’s mental health and might lead to depression, stress, and anxiety. In the workplace, not feeling accepted negatively affects the staffs’ motivation and engagement; consequently, this affects their performance in negative ways.
Respect is an important factor in a society which is important in influencing interpersonal relationships and self-identity. Receiving respect signals that one is considered an important member of the society, hence, respect should be accorded to everyone because all human beings are equal. Similarly, respect is an essential component of social justice and inclusion which are significant in promoting the physical and psychological well-being of individuals.
Annan, K (2005). In larger freedom: Towards development, security and human rights for all: Report of the Secretary-general, United Nations. https://undocs.org/A/59/2005
De Cremer, D., & Mulder, L. B. (2007). A passion for respect: On understanding the role of human needs and morality. Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Organisationspsychologie (GIO), 38(4), 439-449. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11612-007-0036-1
Hill, T. E., & Thomas E. Hill, J. (2000). Respect, pluralism, and justice: Kantian perspectives. Clarendon Press.
Hoban, C. F. (1977). Educational technology and human values. AV communication review, 25(3), 221-242. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02769759