We have been taught to respect since we were a kid, but do we actually know what respect is? Is making a cruel joke towards your best-friend is considered as “respect”? Is judging other people beliefs is “respect”? Let the elder to say they are always right all the time is “respect”?
Respect is everywhere: from putting the source of idea we quote or works we re-publish, saying sorry and admit our fault, praising other people, being tolerant towards someone’s belief, and etc.
But why some people can’t respect other people as easy as saying “respect” itself?
“Respect is earned, not given”
I don’t think it’s true, but in fact people act that way because human is simply very arrogant to say that because of this/that they should’ve respected. Because human thinks that what they do is what makes them earned the respect. We can’t deny the fact that respect is actually given, even on the day Adam was created, God already gave him a boon and one of them is “respect”. That’s not only for the first human creation, but for all of the human beings that exist until now. The respect was given long time ago, God lift human’s dignity by making human as His most precious creation.
Now who are we saying that respect is earned? Or why is it so hard for us to have respect to less fortunate people or anybody that has more deficiency than us?
Respect makes people equal, regardless their education background, age, beliefs, etc. I live in Indonesia where people here have a very long history of respect and viscous eastern culture. I may take one example, in Bahasa Jawa or Sunda, there is a different way to express the language based on to whom we are having the conversation to. In Bahasa Jawa there are: Krama, madya, and ngoko. Krama is used by younger person to the elder or the subordinate to the superior. Madya is used by people who are relatively on the same age or same position, or mostly used as a neutral expression to the barely known person. While Ngoko is used by people with the same age with the certain level of closeness, such as: the elder to the young, superior to the subordinate, or regardless the age or position they agree to use it as their daily expression to each other.
It seems like Indonesian has learned respect since long time ago, but not really. Sometimes the elders think that it’s a must for the young to agree with whatever they said/thought as a correct decision. Sometimes among a group of friends with relatively same age and position, it’s okay to bully one of their friends verbally because it’s a joke and it’s for fun. Or sometimes you think it’s okay to judge someone’s belief because you think you’re right.
Respect has made us equal, below the law and of course for God himself. Respect makes us being treated in fairness, regardless our gender/skin colors/religion/age at any opportunity. Any person in this world has a freedom to express him/herself considering other people’s rights and needs to be respected, now that’s what I know as a respect.