I think there is a misconception about respect. We so often confuse where our own personal emphasis should be. "What can I do to earn respect?" We crave it from our families - our spouses, children or siblings - even our parents. We yearn for it from our peers or colleagues. We wish our bosses would recognize all we contribute and do to deserve it.

The more I have thought about this, the more I have come to realize that respect is not something I need to earn; it is something I need to give. That is what I can contribute. Much like the Golden Rule, giving to others what I would like to receive for myself, respect is reciprocal.

Several years ago, I purchased a new car. My fiancé and I had gone to the dealership together to choose the vehicle, jointly - however, it was to be my car to drive. A few days after bringing it home, I noticed an engine knock that was not typical or good, additionally a strong rainstorm proved the need to replace the rubber stripping around each window, as severe leaks ensued. I returned to the dealership with a request for service. I was received with intense disrespect and the final request, "Perhaps we should speak with your husband." As you can imagine, that did not sit well with me, nor did it end well for them. Of course, the issues were resolved as I initially requested, and a return visit to this particular dealership was not in the cards, for I found an alternate location to service my vehicle.

Over the years, I have come to a place that calls for me to give the respect due right off the bat and not worry about what comes my way. For what goes around, comes around. I have found that when I treat those I deal with as I wish to be treated that that is exactly what occurs. Respect is a funny thing. Often those that demand it, rarely deserve it and those that quietly fulfill their ends of the bargain are the ones that rarely receive it.

Perhaps I am over-sensitive, maybe I have had only a few bad experiences but they were enough to alter my way of thinking and also change how I approached those with whom I work, like, and love. Lessons learned, eh? The homework is easy when pride takes the backseat.

©by rayannethorn

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