The word “respect” has become increasingly common in social justice circles, as have its variants: “being respectable,” “respectable society,” and so on. It’s a word that is frequently invoked by those seeking to change social norms or correct the actions of individuals. But what does it actually mean? Respect can be interpreted in many ways, but at its core, the idea is that certain behaviors or characteristics should be given a certain level of attention, weight, and consideration because of their significance. In simpler terms, that means viewing someone or something as being more important than another person or thing. The implications of respect are broad and touch upon nearly every aspect of how we interact with one another. An individual who displays a high degree of respect typically demonstrates trust, humility, honesty, morality, and other character traits that are not only admirable but also desirable for society overall. A society that lacks respect might demonstrate fearfulness, betrayal, manipulation, dishonesty, immorality, and many other negative character traits that make such a community undesirable.
Can Society Function Without Respect?
No, society cannot function without respect. Respect is a cornerstone of social interaction, and without it, society would quickly break down. Respect is what allows us to trust and cooperate with others, and without it, we would be constantly at odds with one another.
What Would Society Look Like Without Respect?
No More Civility Or Manners
A lack of respect leads to a lack of civility and manners. As people are less likely to trust each other, they’re less likely to be courteous, polite, or apologetic to one another. It’s less likely that people will hold open a door for another or let someone go ahead of them in line. People might be less likely to hold a door open for another person in a wheelchair or with crutches. Fewer people might say “please” or “thank you” in general. It’s possible that people will be less likely to hold the door open for someone because they’ll assume that person can open the door themselves just as easily as they did.
Discrimination is generally based on a lack of respect towards a certain group of people. It could be the result of fear or a belief that those individuals are unworthy of the same level of attention, weight, and consideration that others receive. Discrimination can range from a lack of trust to active hatred, but either way, it’s about being dismissive of others. It’s about not treating everyone as though they matter. Institutionalized discrimination happens when society’s laws, rules, and norms are designed to discriminate against specific groups of people. This could be done in a variety of ways, but the general idea is that discrimination is woven into the very fabric of a society’s structure. It’s what keeps people from accessing the same rights and opportunities that others have. Although discrimination can be based on any number of characteristics, it’s often done based on race, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity.
No Gender Equality
People who don’t respect others are less likely to respect genders in the same way. If a society has a cultural belief that men are inherently superior to women, then men will be chosen over women at a higher rate regardless of skill level. Women will be paid less, given fewer opportunities, and dismissed more often because men feel they are inherently more important. Women will be given fewer resources and fewer chances to succeed on their own merits. This is especially true in cases of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other abusive practices. Certain groups of people are more likely to commit these actions than others because they respect themselves more than the people they are abusing. This isn’t to say that every person who abuses someone else does so with malicious intent. Many people who commit acts of sexual assault or harassment don’t understand that what they’re doing is wrong or harmful. But even so, these actions are rooted in a lack of respect for others.
Shifting Views On Body Positivity
Body positivity is a movement that encourages people to love their bodies. No matter their size, shape, or texture, people are encouraged to appreciate themselves and to choose self-care above all else. There are endless variations on the type of self-care that individuals should pursue, but the main idea is that everyone should be able to do what they need to do without shame. However, body positivism is often viewed as being exclusionary towards certain populations. People who are underweight are sometimes accused of having an eating disorder because their bodies don’t fit the criteria for a “healthy” body type. People with disabilities who use mobility aids are accused of being able to walk just fine, despite the fact that they may need the aid to help them navigate the world.
No More Care For The Environment
A lack of respect is almost always linked to a lack of empathy towards others. The fewer people care about other people, the less they’ll care about the environment. If people aren’t concerned with others, then they won’t understand the impact their daily life choices have on other people. They won’t be concerned with how the things they do affect the environment. They won’t understand how the world works enough to know what they should do to help it. As such, individuals are less likely to recycle or try to reduce their carbon footprint. They’re more likely to litter. They may not understand what they can do that’s beneficial to the environment, but they won’t understand what they should avoid doing that harms it either. This is especially true when it comes to climate change. Without respect, people are less likely to believe in the scientific consensus that climate change is caused by humans. They’re less likely to care about what’s happening to the environment.
How Do Build Respect In Society?
1. Accept the reality of human nature
We cannot expect people to respect others if we don’t respect ourselves. We cannot expect people to care about the environment if we don’t care about the environment. We cannot expect people to be considerate of others if we are not considerate of others. If we want everyone to be respectful, then everyone needs to start respecting themselves, their environment, and each other.
2. Be inclusive toward all lifestyles
We need a society that accepts all lifestyles as valid. A society that is inclusive doesn’t exclude anyone, and it doesn’t judge anyone based on their lifestyle choices or beliefs. Every person has something unique to contribute and something unique that they like about themselves, so the more inclusion there is in a society, the better off everyone will be.
3. Accept differences
Accepting differences means accepting that not everyone is like you or like me or like other people in general (although most people are similar). It means accepting that different things work for different people and different things work for different groups of people. However, it’s important to remember that just because one person likes something doesn’t mean that everyone does (just as just because one person dislikes something doesn’t mean no one does). Just because I’m fat doesn’t mean you have to be fat too; just because I’m short doesn’t mean you have to be short too; just because I’m transgender doesn’t mean you have to be transgender too; just because I’m straight doesn’t mean you have to be straight too; just because I’m gay doesn’t mean you have to be gay too.
3. Accept that everyone is different
It’s important to remember that not everyone is similar to us or others in general, so it’s important to accept that everyone has their own unique preferences and characteristics. It’s important to remember that people are different from each other in many ways, so we need to accept that they’re all different from each other in some ways as well.
4. Be tolerant towards others’ opinions
Just because a person thinks something is wrong or bad doesn’t mean it’s bad for everyone else or for the environment or for society as a whole. Just because someone thinks something is good doesn’t mean it’s good for everyone else or for the environment or for society as a whole. If a person thinks something is bad, then there are probably other people who think it’s good too (although often not). If a person thinks something is good, then there are probably other people who think it’s bad too (although often not). It’s important to remember that the opinions of others don’t necessarily matter – what matters is what we think and how we act on our beliefs and actions.
5. Be respectful towards others
Respecting others means treating them with respect and courtesy – including with respect when they disagree with you and courtesy when they disagree with you, including when they’re talking about you (and especially when they’re talking about you negatively or unfairly). Respecting others means treating them with respect and courtesy – including with respect when they disagree with you. It’s important to remember that the opinions of others don’t necessarily matter – what matters is what we think and how we act on our beliefs and actions.
Respect is a word that is thrown around frequently, and it can be interpreted in many ways. At its core, this is a word that means viewing someone or something as being more important than another person or thing. What would society look like without respect? It would be filled with mistrust, belligerence, and discrimination. No tolerance or civility would exist. People would be less likely, to be honest, empathetic, or helpful towards one another. Fewer people would collaborate with one another, and people would be more likely to solve their problems with violence. It would be a society that doesn’t care for the environment or each other.