A Demystification of Fear and Respect

“Respect earned through fear instead of deeds, was not truly respect.”

Have you experienced respecting people in your life out of threat? Have you met people who coerce others to make them follow and respect? Have you known people who see themselves as powerful human beings just because they gained respect from others who feared them? If not many times, we got to experience all of these once in our lives. At times, we fall into the trap of confusing these two qualities- fear and respect. In addition, we tend to regard people as embodiments of power when they make others respect based on fear. These acts hold true even at this time. But what is really the difference between fear and respect? When is respect considered true?

Fear and respect are two contrasting things. Fear hinders the potential of an individual while respect strengthens it. Think of a time when you feared someone. Did you show who you really are and what you are capable of? How about when you respected somebody and earned respect from him/her? Did you spend time thinking about what the person will say? You might have done it, but knowing that that person accepts your feelings, belief systems, principles, and needs saves you from worrying too much about yourself. In fact, when respect is served, you are inspired to hone your potential at the optimal level and transcend boundaries.

Furthermore, fear goes temporarily while respect lasts a lifetime. How many times have you felt incomparable joy when the person whom you fear the most is away? That person may come from varied figures- an inconsiderate boss, an obnoxious manager or a condescending leader. Yes, total authority is fine. So is perfectionism. What is not fine is belittlement and intimidation by a person. Little does a person know that being abrasive not only robs one’s sanity but also breeds fear. It happens when we try to respect people merely because we fear them. In reality, however, we respect them a little or we do not respect them at all. The truth is a bitter pill to swallow, so to speak. On the other hand, respect can go a long way if it stems from deeds, not fear. If you were asked about the person who left a significant mark in your life, you would probably choose someone whom you look up to- someone who respects you because s/he first respects herself/himself and who gives you value and importance. That is true respect.

Although others have feared someone and have thought of not giving respect to undeserving of it, but the stronger we hold on to this belief, the more we destroy our values. Refusing to respect someone defines more of ourselves than it does to the one we fear or dislike. As Dave Willis put it, “Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it; not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours.” Thus, whatever engenders, respect. Whether it is through deeds or fear, respect. And if we are not willing to give respect to others, let us try giving it to ourselves first. Let us show one of the most pivotal virtues. Respect.

Am I Alone

As the sun moved over the horizon,
I walked along the shore,
Going out for an odd reason,
Wanting to ask myself more.

Am I a desert island
Which, for good, stands on its own,
Am I insane from a remote land
Who journeys to the unknown.

It wasn’t until I’d looked down
That I found someone walked with me,
In great surprise, I was drowned,
I could hardly believe what I see.

I continued to breeze in
With sheer bliss, I felt,
Having someone made me grin,
My heart began to melt.

The daylight slowly departed the place,
And my friend started to fade away,
Without much thought, leaving no trace,
I am now alone, why didn’t you stay.

From the pain, I’ve learned a lesson,
I’ll share before these words run out and end,
We can love, but we can’t rely much on a person
Even our shadows leave us in darkness, my friend.

Icons of Greatest Influence

Searching for answer, I traveled to places with the hope to find who has the greatest influence of all. I bumped into Family and immediately asked him. He replied, “Parents.” Because I was not content with the answer, I looked for another whom I could ask. I met Community and asked him the icon of greatest influence and he responded with a perfunctory smile, “Mayors.” I thanked and smiled back at him. Their answers were great. However, there was still a part of me that untiringly longed for the best response. My drive to know the answer went a long way. I journeyed to a known distant land with the continuous yearning and there I got to know Country. Without much delay, I asked him. I stood still with utter excitement studying his face for a word to come out. He gazed into my eyes and countered, “President.” “Thank you,” I said. His answer was correct and I fully respected it, but I was still looking for the best. “How about the world as a whole,” I pondered.

I headed back home hoping that one day, I would meet the right person who could answer me with what I’ve wanted for so long. I arrived at my house and hurriedly went to the sink to wash my horrible face after the long quest. Thereafter, I got the towel to wipe the trace of exhaustion left and I looked at myself in the mirror. All of a sudden, my towel fell off while I was shocked to see World. “Hey, my friend Dann,” he said. At that time, I couldn’t utter even a single word. I convinced myself to take the chance to talk to him. “Y-y-e-s,” I replied. “I know you’re tired, but I am here to help you,” he said. “Oh, that’s very kind of you. Could you tell me who has the greatest influence of all,” I asked. World responded with conviction, “Haven’t you seen yourself in the mirror? It’s you, my friend. A teacher! Teachers!” I looked at myself in the mirror again while World was completely out of sight. My colleague touched my shoulder and said, “You have a booked class.”

After conducting classes on that day, I realized that teachers are truly the icons of greatest influence. Besides the noblest professionals, teachers create all other professions. Additionally, they are contributors as they mold future generations, but more so stand as the heart of recovery in the realm of education especially in these trying times. It is said that when someone asks why anyone would ever become a teacher, remind them why it’s worth it. Every job has its ups and downs, but not every job can change a life. Without question, teaching is one of the most grueling jobs; however, it is one of the most fulfilling ones- one that can touch lives and change lives. Indeed, everyone needs teachers whom s/he can bank on. Teachers are embodiments of significance and influence. Hence, they deserve the highest accolade for their meritorious service to the family, community, country, and the world as a whole. They are worthy. They are icons of greatest influence. They are the best. They are TEACHERS! Happy World Teachers’ Day!