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“Show respect for all men, but grovel to none.” – Tecumseh

Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about that simple two syllable word; Respect. Although I was so tempted to write in some other directions, I realised it is one critical aspect that is important but taken with so much laxity. Now (draws seat), I would really like to briefly share my opinion…

As a typical yoruba man, I know the look on the face of an elder whenever a young boy passes him by, as if the boy is not aware that someone’s there (you know the deliberate I-don’t-know-you-from-Adam…even-Eve expressions).

I know how it feels when you call someone Segun (as if you attended his christening or once changed his diaper) even though you know he’s much older than you, and as such, deserves to at least have a ‘Brother’ before the Segun (again, as a yoruba…not as a foreigner).

Picture a pastor with the white collar around his neck, and imagine how he’ll feel if he gets the greatest beating of his life in an attempt to settle a dispute or fight (no offence, just an example). I bet it’s not a good feeling. No doubt, the three parties would feel hurt.

The Oxford advanced learner dictionary defines respect as the polite behaviour towards or care for somebody or something that you think is important. Respect simply means showing esteem or honour for someone or something. It involves acknowledging and showing regards to someone/something of certain qualities, or considered important/superior in some ways. Thus, an elder is superior to a young boy by virtue of age; a pastor is superior by way of his status as a leader.

Practically everyone hates to be insulted, but then I wonder why we disrespect others and feel it’s nothing. It marvels me when people crave for so much respect without actually willing to give the respect that is due unto others (I have no idea where they left reciprocity).

The fact remains that respect is reciprocal (even 9ice sang it). Take the cases of the pastor and the old one above. It is expected of the latter to respect the former even though she/he is old enough to be his grandparent. The onus is also on the pastor to respect the older party. Simple! Same goes in all walk of life.

Nowadays, we have no respect for one another. We only treat ourselves without regards and pretend it’s nothing. There might be a ton of reasons for this (I really don’t know), but I’m certain of one; PRIDE.

“There’s no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” – Henri Frederic Amiel

The moment the mind is full of pride and bloated with so much oodles of ego, the vacancy for respect cease to exist. Have you noticed that proud people enjoy being respected but find it condescending to respect others? (If you hiss or Mtttcheeww-ed I’ll understand).

I can actually understand why some rich individuals are proud and therefore have no respect whatsoever (at least they’re better financially, not enough justification though). I can’t—and I’m sure I won’t—just get why some “not-so-rich” people still venture into the same trade (business failure of life!). Perhaps we don’t understand some basic things. Please be patient and read further.

“When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.” – American Indian Proverb

I recall a few post-NYSC orientation camp activities (please click here and here) which had given me a closer view of people’s reactions when they are sincerely respected (not out of fear). The simple summary is that respect for someone can make the person respond favourably in return. It can automatically get you graces and take you places you ordinarily wouldn’t have access to. Now, who doesn’t want that?

Respecting someone doesn’t make us less of a person. It doesn’t bring down one’s station. I believe that’s actually the idea in the yoruba proverb that says that “To prostrate for a dwarf doesn’t make you short when you stand.” (except juju…or black magic is involved). We all know what’s right, abide by this principle and you’re good to go.

Well, I’m good to go.

Be social. Comment and share.
Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69

12 thoughts on “Respect

    Adebayo Tosin said:
    April 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I wonder why you preach RESPECT when you haven’t given me a little. *kidding*


      Adewoyin Joseph responded:
      May 15, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      Perhaps I was waiting for you to go first, which is wrong regardless. On the ground prostrating for you sir.

      You no dey fear? 🙂


    Adesewa Adeyeni said:
    May 1, 2013 at 5:56 pm

    Respect is an integral part of our culture.


    Yemie said:
    May 16, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Your take on respect, I totally dig. Your writings are so richly articulate, laced with generous doses of humor too. Perhaps you may just have a future in motivational speaking and put ’em eloquence to great use, no?! Lolz

    Regardless of race, age, creed, religion and whatever ‘labels’ life has forcefully shoved down our throats, the issue of respect is non-negotiable. I’m personally suckers for courtesy and I do give same to all and sundry irrespective of whatever. The Good Book makes it very clear that a man’s gift is well able to open up massive doors of great opportunities for such a one but attitude and character can shut such doors in a heartbeat. Came across a caption which asserts that ‘If you lose wealth, you lose nothing; if you lose health, you lose something; but if you lose attitude, you lose everything! And this is so true if indeed our attitude’s a determinant of our altitude in life. Kudos Prof, Preach! LOL


      Adewoyin Joseph responded:
      May 16, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Cheesox!!! It’s only on this blog that I’ll see a Professor Emeritus tell a so-called Professor to preach, when she (I believe I’m right with the “she”) has succinctly written words that beckon a touché!. Really, I’m learning from your think-o-sphere and word bank already. I plan to rob you if you stop the process.

      Respect is a universal language everyone understands, which everybody should speak regardless of the label (I like that word). I’ve decided to speak more of the language, so I’ll bet you won’t mind me sending some “yes ma’ams” your way. I want the altitude; I wanna fly! 🙂

      Motivational speaking. . . hmmmmn, perhaps. But I’m sure I won’t be a Basketmouth nor an I-go-die. I may find comfort in a blend of the former in tandem with being a sit-down comedian (shebi the duo are stand-up comedians?).

      Thank yo ffery vewi mouwch!


        Yemie said:
        May 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm

        Hian! Me a Professor, nah; hardly! You’re the original ‘sabi’ boy. You wont fly, I’d say soar rather and thanks for the compliments. God knows I’m truly humbled besides being flushed that is and yes, I’m a ma’am or how else could I have bluntly refused to describe your infamous ‘dough’! Where do you get off putting me on the spot like that ehn?! *RME* Kilomode mi mo? *Yimu* LMAO!


        Adewoyin Joseph responded:
        May 16, 2014 at 6:23 pm

        *smiles* Thanks ma’am, and amen too. . . but I’m sticking to my guns on your professorship.

        I knew the ma’am when she momentarily became an activist for the ladies in a part of her comment on Bitter-sweet. Ladies though, see how the infamous dough has now become mine.

        My Godt will judge! 🙂


        Yemie said:
        May 16, 2014 at 8:37 pm

        Your God will judge sebi?! Were you not the one who openly confessed to chowing down on that infamous dough?! You even washed it down with a bottle of Coke, using a straw, remember now? So if that be the case, then; its your property nah. See as you jus dey deny the poor thing, that’s soo not fair o. Anyway sha, diarris God Ooooo! Lolz


        Adewoyin Joseph responded:
        May 16, 2014 at 8:56 pm

        LOL. Wait o, it’s like I’ve put myself in trouble (this me mouth sef!)

        Warrissit gan?! Start thinking of this thing as food and not that thing causing problems all over the world. So yeah, I ate the thing dough and washed it down. Come hia lemme tell you ehn, this thing is our property; a collective property! Except you don’t eat.

        No be only me waka come on this thing matter o 🙂


        Yemie said:
        May 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm

        Hahahahahahahaha! Relax Senor, you really aren’t on trial here and no, me I no dey chop dough( food o), don’t get it too twisted! Its fattening, with high levels of cholestrol and calories. So speak for yasef ehkwa! Imma watching ma weight! LMAO!


        Adewoyin Joseph responded:
        May 17, 2014 at 8:11 am

        Good thing I ain’t watching nada! 🙂


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