R-E-S-P-E-C-T

There's two types of respect: basic human respect and respect that's earned (like trust). All humans are deserving of basic human respect, but not entitled to respect #2. There are only three ways to get it:


1) It's given to you. This is just luck, if you ask me. People who trust easily are precious and vulnerable and usually very young. If you find one who gives you their trust freely—count yourself blessed. You did nothing to earn it. You are not entitled to it. You won't keep it without some work, unless you plan to oppress them, and even then, it might look like respect, but it's really just self-preservation.


2) Transparency. Showing that you have nothing to hide, or even better, showing that if you did have something to hide you wouldn't hide it makes you more trustworthy. If you've told on yourself, I'm likely to trust you will tell me again when I need to know. Humble yourself and tell me the ugly truth, then I will believe your "honesty". I respect humility. It lets me know you don't think you're better than me.


3) Good behavior over a long period of time. This one takes effort, tenacity, and endurance specifically in the arena you are wanting to be respected. I would trust LeBron James to be a good basketball player. I would not trust him to do my taxes for me. Sorry. No. If you have a position of leadership, but you don't lead well, don't expect me to respect you. I might play the game strategically, but my heart will not be in it. You're gonna have to earn it.


So if you're throwing a big fit about me not respecting you, just know that I'm not budging. I am not young. I am not naive. It was hard for me to trust even just popping out of the womb, let alone after watching the world turn for forty-two years. How about instead of throwing a fit, you do some respectable work? Show me the humiliating truth about yourself. Show me that you value me enough to stand on even ground with me. Show me how you can behave well for more than a few blinks of an eye. Then we can talk about trust and maybe more than some basic human respect.

Unsplash photo cred: Andre A. Xavier

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