The Importance of Respect Throughout Society

Topics: Army, Military, Armed forces Pages: 11 (4302 words) Published: August 12, 2010
The Importance of Respect Throughout Society

There are many forces at work that keep organizations, society, and mankind in general operating. These can range from the moral basis of the said organization or civilization, to logistic and financial structure, to the motivation and views of the people in it, the policies of the leader or leaders, as well as their finesse and charisma, all the way to the traditions and customs that make the organization stand out uniquely and its people proud to be a part of it. Those are just a few as there are many, many more, probably too numerous to name. But one force and concept holds most, if not all, of the others together to give any true organization its life and soul. That concept is respect. Older than any group, organization, religion, civilization, culture or military, respect is almost as old, if not as old, as the human race itself. Respect started with prehistoric bands of people, looking for experience and leadership, and remains today as we know it within societies and militaries around the world. Indeed, nothing with an organizational hierarchy, including civilization itself, could exist as we know it today without the ongoing application of respect, in its many forms. This fact is most obvious, and can not be illustrated any further, than by looking at the worlds militaries, and by observing customs, courtesies, and policies of different military organizations, past and present. If one researches ancient armies and navies, it would not be hard to see, that while it took many hundreds of years for some civilizations to come into contact one another for the first time, and while each one has its own unique culture, language, and traditions, the application of respect is universal around the world and throughout history. And while that implementation unique to the culture, time (age), and military situation, there are very clear similarities that show respect was and is an inherent human trait. Nowhere shows that emphasis more than in a military environment, where people look to seniors and leaders for guidance in life or death situations, that may or may not involve national or world changing events, where respect in the command structure is of the utmost for a desired outcome and minimal loss of resources. If you ask one person what respect is, and then compare that answer to those of many other people, you may or may not get completely different answers. You will find that while every person knows the concept of respect, almost everyone has a different answer. That is because, while respect is a very simple notion, it can be applied in many different forms, to many different situations. The word itself originated sometime in the fourteenth century, in Middle English from the Latin word “respectus”, which literally means: “the act of looking back”, also from “respicere” which means to look back, regard, or look more at. The technical Websters Dictionary definition of the word respect is as follows: 1): a relation or reference to a particular thing or situation, I.e., “having respect to an earlier plan”. 2): an act of giving particular attention: consideration. 3a): high or special regard: esteem b.): the quality or state of being esteemed c): plural- expressions of deference, I.e., “paid our respects”. As one could probably guess, “high or special regard”, and “expressions of deference” is a very vague way to describe a concept such as respect. Most would consider “deference” when thinking of a very popular political, cultural, religious, or military figure who is usually deceased. Respect in this case could be considered paying homage to and still thinking of the person and his or her deeds, even though that person may no longer be living. Military organizations in particular revere the selfless and heroic deeds and actions of its past members, and tries to point out and instill those same deeds in its current members. As for high or special regard, in...
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