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Can Society Function Without Respect?

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Treat others the way you want to be treated: the epitome of the principle of respect. Something that we are taught for years and years no matter our age, and at a first glance it seems quite simple and reasonable but is it really. We as a society have cultivated this notion among us that respect is some hidden currency that defines how much of a benevolent person we are. But the need to be greater than others, that is deeply rooted in the human psyche, has created a competition for respect that not only forgets the golden rule of respect, but throws the concept of respect right out of the window. In this toxic climate of self-interest, we as a group have forgotten to treat others with respect that we so often crave. If we do not recognize the perturbed course, we have set for our society we will cease to function as one and devolve into tribalism.

What is respect? is it a way of thinking, is it an unspoken rule, or is it a natural force pushing us forward. In fact, it is all of these and more. Respect is the framework that holds society together. Without respect, we are reduced to a creature less than human- less than animal, for even animals show respect to superiority- only capable of thinking about ourselves. Respect can be helping others when they most need it, or just acting with another person in mind. It can be listening to a mentor, and holding their wealth of experience in high esteem. It can be deferring to someone else when faced with an unfamiliar problem, or admitting your ignorance to someone with knowledge. In fact, almost all of our social interactions, involve, at some level, the seemingly basic idea of respect. Respect is the foundation of social interaction, and social interactions are the foundations of a functional society. If we are able to accept these notions and put them into practice in our society only then we will all thrive in these conditions no matter who we are.

On the mere surface, respect seems important, but not necessary. Plenty of people do fine in life treating others poorly at almost every turn. In fact, psychopaths, people who have a greatly reduced ability to empathize with others, are so overrepresented in America’s CEOs that almost 1 in 5 CEOs possess some traits of psychopathy(Agerholm)- the same rate found in prisoners. Even our president has at times shown his lack of respect for certain groups of people, be it minorities, women, or sometimes foreign leaders. These people aren’t common joes, who- as cynical as it may sound- society could continue on the same way with one less. No; these are the people at the forefront of society, who’s actions influence the lives of many many others. It seems that not showing care for others is by no means an indication of



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