“Respect yourself if you would have others respect you” - Baltasar Gracian

What is Respect?


  • The condition of being honored
  • To feel or show deferential regard for, esteem
  • Admiration of, or a sense of the world or excellence of a person, a personal quality or trait, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or trait.

Cultural Perspective

In the Dine (Navajo) culture respect is shown in various ways: the pressure of the hand during the handshake, eye contact, respecting personal space, not interrupting when being spoken to, etc.

 (Respect) Space: Given the design of Japanese homes, privacy is a matter of choice than a fact of life, but is generally respected: The Japanese have developed an ability to choose not to hear others’ conversation in private situations, such as inside the home. Likewise, in the private space of one’s own garden, great attention and care are given to spatial relationships between objects. However, Japan is a very crowded country, and public space is not at all respected in mass transit or on the streets. (Gannon, M. J. (2001). Working across cultures: Applications and exercises. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publication, Inc. p. 124)

(Respect) Japanese leaders are highly respected, hold a great deal of power, and receive many special privileges, but generally, they rely on consensus rather than an authoritarian style of management. Likewise, the Japanese gardener does not try to control the elements of the garden to create beauty as much as he or she tries to bring out their inherent beauty. (Gannon, M. J. (2001). Working across cultures: Applications and exercises. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage Publication, Inc. p. 127)

Quotes About Respect

  • “I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me . . . All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” – Jackie Robinson
  • “Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves.” – U. Thant
  • “Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it.” – Bill Bradley
  • “When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” - Lao Tzu
  • “Who am I? I am a little thing with a big meaning. I help everybody. I unlock doors, open hearts, dispel prejudice. I create friendship and goodwill. I inspire courtesy and admiration. Everybody loves me. I bore no one. I violate no law. I cost nothing. Many have praised me. No one has ever condemned me. I am pleasing to those of high and low degree. I am useful every moment of the day. I am Respect!” - Unknown

Reflective Questions about Respect

  • How can you show respect?
  • What does being respectful mean to you?
  • Who should be shown respect?
  • How can respectable qualities be attained?
  • How important is being respected/respectful to you? Society?
  • Should respect be earned or automatically given?
  • How can you become a respectable person?