Since childhood days, the very first virtue I remember being taught by my parents was Respect. I had to respect God, my parents, elders, and everyone in the family. As I grew a bit, the list expanded to teachers and many others around me.
As simple as it may sound, today I feel the word has omnifarious meanings, each discrete to the character of the person and the situation. So what is respect? Is it applying 'uncle/aunty' to the elders, or saying the name of someone you have just gotten introduced to with 'gee'. That way I guess we even pay respect to our biscuits 'Parle G'.
Respect connotes different things then. For me it is acknowledgement of people around me, what they do for me, and how I should revert. I call people a good 10 years older than me by their first names. Does not mean I do not respect them. But I remember what they mean to me, and also make it a point for them to know. And they accede and ratify my exemplification of respect.
I try my level best to respect all around me. Not only humans, but animals and non living things too (my car and cell, I even talk to it at times). Yet when I do not seek blessings from uncles and aunties by touching their feet, or when I am honest enough to say I am busy, I may be ostracized for being disrespectful...
But that is exactly the thing right. Though I might brag of being a specimen when it comes to being respectful, I might still not live upto some expectations. Thanks to our divergent views of the exact same ethic.
Yet I have people who claim to respect me and what I share with them. And even after knowing how precarious and subjective the term is, I just cease to believe that it can be so conflicting with my views! Even after years of togetherness (so to say), they do not recognize my most basic needs from them...
The years together have just not been prolific enough then. I feel nonexistent, which I refuse to feel! I do not seek appreciation, but I do believe that I deserve to be conceded to say the least.
That is what I have not found. So I guess it is the best to seek closure on such matters. I do not want to dig on things which will never die out. The more I ponder, the deeper I will fall in the disorientation and bewilderment of distinct applications of a singular term. Sadly, the mayhem is very much over the meaning of the same term, the term that I remember very prominently being taught to me as the biggest virtues for respectful being.