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Edited by dazarobbo: 7/31/2014 11:14:07 AM

Let's have a chat about respect and tolerance

When someone wants to be respected, that's probably not what they really want. They want to be tolerated instead, which I have no issue with (at least in most cases). The difference is subtle, but important, yet most people believe the two words are synonymous and therefore interchangeable: they're not. Do you [i]respect[/i] the members of the [url=]Westboro Baptist Church[/url]? Most people, arguably, would have decided (if they hadn't already) that they don't respect them, yet probably [i]tolerate[/i] them. How can that be? Well, people should be tolerated for their views, but not necessarily respected for them. Tolerance is something you should exhibit even in the face of an opposing point of view, whereas respect implies you personally approve of and/or support it. They cannot and should not be used interchangeably precisely because of this point. What's also important to remember is that respect is, again, a personal opinion of some subject. Only you can and should decide who or what is deserving of your respect since, once again, to respect something is to show [i]your own acceptance[/i] of something. What's more, you should also be suspicious of people asking or demanding you "show respect" for something (such as themselves), [i]especially[/i] without questioning or further investigation. You wouldn't agree or support something until you had enough information to make that decision for yourself, would you? With all that said, here are some more examples to illustrate the previous points: People often say you should "respect the law", but is that really true? If a law were passed which I agreed with, then I'd [probably] say I respect it and would subsequently accept it - follow it. However, if I thought it were overbearing and not in the best interests of the people it affected, then I probably wouldn't respect it. In fact, if I thought it was particularly bad enough, I wouldn't tolerate it either, and I'd protest to have it removed or modified. Some people believe that soldiers should be [i]respected[/i] because of the role they play, such as "defending a nation". Yet in saying things like this, it results in an implication that "all soldiers should be respected". If you believe they should, what happens when [url=]something a soldier did you don't accept or support[/url]? Would you still accept or support them? If you have even an iota of morality you wouldn't, which means you're now in a position where you respect some soldiers, but not others. Ergo, you don't respect all soldiers. The same can be said for any position, however, not just soldiers as you'll see in the next example. If a soldier did something I believed were heroic (perhaps he or she sacrificed themselves to save their fellow soldiers), then I'd probably have some amount of respect for them, because that's what [u]I've[/u] deemed should be worthy of my respect. However, do note that in this example, being a soldier is not a prerequisite for being respected. The act of heroism is what I decided upon, but this can occur in other situations too, such as a firefighter running into a burning building to save someone. Using something such as heroism is great since I'm no longer locked-in to only situations where only a soldier is heroic, but non-soldiers too, which means all heroic people can be deserving of my respect.

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