- “The process of honoring someone by exhibiting care, concern, or consideration for their needs or feelings.”
- “To avoid interfering with or intruding upon.”
- “To avoid violating.”
- “Courteous regard for people’s feelings.”
- “The polite attitude shown toward someone.”
- “The feeling you show when you accept that different customs or cultures are different from your own and behave towards them in a way that would not cause offense.”
- “Treating an individual in a dignified manner.”
- “It means valuing each other’s points of view. It means being open to being wrong.”
- “A quality seriously lacking in today’s society.”
Each of the above is a definition of respect. There are multiple definitions. The Intramuralist speaks not of the definition equated with admiration; we instead speak of a wise way to treat all of humanity. After this past week — and witnessing repeated persons justify why it was ok for them to either be disrespectful or support (aka make excuses for) the disrespect, it seems wise to review why we do what we do.
“You must always behave in a respectful manner as this reflects on you, your character, integrity and values of who you are as a person.”
“There is no such thing as I will give it after they give it to me first.”
“To get respect, you must give it. So respectful behavior should just be part of how you act as a person 100% of the time.”
And yet, we heard grown adults — yes, grown adults — suggest “the other one started it” is sensible and prudent rationale.
[Insert ample head shaking here.]
After a couple of unexpectedly rough days of school last week, I noticed a new wear and tear on my youngest’s face. Full disclosure: my budding 18 year old is experiencing full on “senior-itis.” Sometimes I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the more visible manifestations in him that I missed in my older, non-special needs sons. 🙂
“What’s up, dude?” I asked, as is a typical, emotional fishing expedition on my part.
To which Josh shared with me a frustration with one of his educators. Now please know that as the parental overseer and advocate of Josh’s education, my job has never been to blindly support Josh’s behavior; my job has always been more as the educational point guard, working to ensure Josh and his educators, counselors, therapists, etc. and I are all on the same page, working together, in pursuit of Josh’s academic best; his teachers have long been excellent. Josh proceeded to share with me his frustration that one of his teachers was not letting him do what he wanted to do. He was getting mad.
When I asked how he was handling his anger, he shared multiple incidents, each involving either a refusal to engage, a talking poorly of, or a lack of obedience. Each contradicted the definitions listed above.
“We don’t do that, Josh. I get that you’re frustrated. I get that you’re angry. But disrespect is a sign of immaturity. It’s not good nor God-honoring. That is unacceptable, especially now that you’re an adult.”
To be fully transparent, Josh didn’t care for my input either. But the reality is that regardless of whether his teacher had done something wrong or not — which she had not — his behavior should be the same.
The next day he was still stewing.
Even the day after that.
But on the third day, he apologized to his teacher.
He would tell me that she still wasn’t letting him do what he wanted to do, but he knew his behavior was immature, wrong, and needed to change.
Way to go, my mature, God-honoring adult…