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Respect Toward Your Superiors Essay

“He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded.” Proverbs 13:12-14 NIV. There are only forty five instances of the word respect in the NIV bible. I try to live my life as though I were being watched by God Himself, because I believe that I am. I try, and hopefully achieve, to show respect to all people, NCOs and Officers, I even call civilians “sir” and “ma’am.” As a Christian I know that I am an example for God, and the only way some people will ever see God is through me; my actions and words. I know the power that God has in my life and how He would like for me to act by constantly talking to me. Some people call the voice of God their “conscience,” a feeling or a still, small voice that they “should have listened to.”

My wife is a very spiritual person and hears the voice of God clearly, like a person’s voice and not a still, small one. She often acts as my guide in matters that I am facing, and if I don’t listen to her advice, it often ends badly. I say that to say that I once had a problem with respect and saw my superiors as only the people that they were and not the rank or position that they held. She warned me to start to treat my superiors with the respect that they get as a certain rank and not normal people; she would not have said if God had not had talked to her because she is a civilian and knows very little about the ways of the military.

Respect by definition is the “willingness to show consideration or appreciation.” In terms of military respect, as in the LDRSHIP acronym, respect is to “Treat people as they should be treated.” And in the soldiers code, we swear an oath to “treat others with dignity and respect while expecting others to do the same.” With respect being defined so many ways, how is one to tell which to choose from? A seemingly obvious answer is the “Army’s way.” But to those who serve a higher calling it would be God’s way, or even the non-believing military rationalists might word respect different. Though the grasp on the true definition for respect is put so many ways, it is a true attitude a person shows another in respect, regard, or preference to their grade, position, or stature.

Though a person leads his/her life showing respect toward others, they may have a hard time getting the respect back from those that he/she has shown, and continues to show, the respect to. Respect should be a two-way street, in my opinion, to achieve maximum affect for all parties. “Show those with the same respect that they show you” is a common “new” military idea, to curse at if you were cursed at, to push if you were pushed. I feel that a person should get what they give; such as, if a person is constantly degrading people and belittling them, then they should not be surprised if they get the same treatment in return.

On the same scale, if as a superior, you get upset with a soldier and start to disrespect them out of anger, then you should not expect to get respect in return. But my belief in Christ out rules the ways of normal behavior and thinking, I try to remain respectful even if I am being respected. Many people see it as a weakness, something to be ashamed about as a leader. I feel that it shows self control, a collectiveness that most people will neither possess nor will ever understand. A “level-headedness, cool under fire” sort of attitude.

In this given situation, however, even if a certain person, i.e., NCO, a SSG to be exact, feels that they were disrespected because they were contacted by a certain Sgt’s spouse, then that SSG should have brought the issue up with that particular person in which contacted him or her. There is such a thing as free speech by the civilian sectors, not necessary in the military itself, but as a civilian they are entitled to the right of free speech. And if an alert roster is given out and the spouse has access to it, anyone’s individual phone number could be looked up and called. If this basic freedom were denied then we wouldn’t enjoy and live in the democracy that we do today.

Respect is something that everyone wants, not many have, and few want to give. Most people would appreciate “just a little bit,” and most should give just that. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, this does not happen. Perhaps this is because the concept of respect is not understood. What exactly is respect? To respect anything is to think it through positively and hold it in some high regard, but estimation gets us into trouble because while we sometimes win, we also sometimes lose. To respect something, on the other hand, is to accept it. The dictionary defines it yet another way as an act of giving particular attention or high or special regard. This does not explain what it is; it only outlines what it may consist of in regards to personal feelings.

The word respect is very a very strong word in itself; it is a word that draws your attention from the start. But there is more to it than just being a word. There is the idea behind it, which is the beginning of many ideas and characteristics of a particular individual, group, or culture and the statement, theories, and sought understandings that forms a political, social, and economic program. By another definition, respect is ‘to consider deserving of high or special regard.’ Society defines respect as the way one person or group of people treats another person or group of people and also the way they look upon those persons. We in the Army define respect as the common courtesy we give to our peers, subordinates and superiors and the way in which we carry out our orders and our duties on a daily basis within the United States Army.

Respect is a common bond in today’s Army because all of us are, or should be, well trained soldiers and it is a building block that our training is based upon. Respect is basically how we treat each other, the actions shown toward other people. Respect is the way in which you help others out whenever they need a hand. Respect is also the way you take the time to discipline and train your subordinates. And respect is the way you work harder than anyone and longer hours to do an excellent job for your career and your unit. These are all ways of showing respect- toward each other, our subordinates, our peers, our superiors, our unit and our country. This is the respect that we have been trained to give and which we show on a daily basis. For us serving in the military it also represents the sacrifices that we are giving for our fellow soldiers.

The definition itself is all well and good, but what exactly is respect? What does it mean to me, a soldier in today’s Army? Respect is something everyone is capable of achieving, but at the same time it is not just a right or privilege. It has to be earned. We as soldiers have been well trained and disciplined at respecting the ranks of superiors. But is respecting their rank or position enough? All soldiers within the Army must earn the respect of their fellow soldiers. To earn the respect of your fellow soldiers you must do many things. For your subordinates, you must be fair and just and take care of all problems that may arise.

For your peers, you must be technically and tactically proficient and set the standard for both of them to follow. And for your superiors, you must accomplish the mission quickly, efficiently and sometimes even in the absence of orders. These are just small examples of the many, many things that can help you earn the respect of your fellow soldiers. The key to remember is that you must do something other than just sit around. You must earn respect and work hard to gain it. Your rank or position deserves the military honors that are presented with it, but no more. The rest is up to us as soldiers and individuals. Through our own actions we can earn the respect of fellow soldiers, and through the actions of our fellow soldiers, they will earn our respect and all that goes with it.

In the Army we adhere to a standard called military bearing. Military bearing is a code of conduct in the U.S. Army, and when you come right down to it dignity is maintained in military relationships, reflective of an individual’s pride in his military service and of the organization he represents. Military personnel should be courteous and controlled to show dignity as well as respect. Part of possessing dignity is to also have the ability to respect his juniors and seniors, and acknowledge the dignity of others. This sense of pride in military service is shown during work as well as when on liberty, carrying himself at all times with reverence and a proper sense of self-worth. By admiring his seniors, the individual can be guided in presenting good conduct, and can likewise demonstrate his pride and decorum to those who in turn look to him for guidance in presenting military bearing. Dignity and respect can be taught, and examples can be shown, but the willingness to present military bearing also comes from within, especially when showing courtesy and respect toward others.

To respect others you first have to respect yourself, if you have no self esteem then you will have a hard time respecting yourself. In an Issue of Self-Respect Being a Christian has changed my perspective on the way people perceive themselves. Since becoming a Christian I have had a hard time understanding why or how a girl or guy could belittle herself by so freely giving her body to someone else. Growing up in Indiana, I witnessed this in many different ways. Whether it is a prostitute standing on the corner in the closest big city, or a good friend that sleeps around, the lack of respect these people have for themselves is very visible, and very sad. I am a very social person, and I would someday like to work as a minister of some sort, which is why I am taking the time now to try to understand the reasoning for their foolish and dangerous choices. Why do teenage boys and girls have such little respect for themselves? I am sure that each of these kids have her own theories and reasons for his or her actions.

I believe the most obvious causes are; they were never taught that it was wrong, most guys treat girls with disrespect, and the fact that somebody wants them make them feel loved. Sadly enough, a girl having no respect for herself is not a new thing. Girls just aren’t taught that it is wrong to abuse their bodies or give away something that is supposed to be so sacred. It seems that some parents these days do not know how to handle their kids and are often too lenient with them. It also seems that role models in today’s society advertise sex in subtle, yet noticeable ways. I think the media plays a huge role in the misleading of teenage minds. Entertainment, such as singers and actors are not even chosen based on talent anymore, they are hired based on the right look; it is all about sex appeal. Another obvious cause is, there are so many guys in today’s society who were not raised to respect women. They think of women as sex objects, and unimportant people they can control.

It is normal to be somewhat dependant on men, but women today seem to become totally reliant on men. In most cases that can be very unhealthy or dangerous. Men know these women “need” them, so they think they can get away with playing with their heads and their hearts. Women are under the false impression that if a man wants to sleep with her he must love her. When in reality, most men are really out to satisfy themselves. They will tell a girl whatever she wants to hear, until she falls into the “trap” and gives herself to him. Then he dumps her. You would think the girl would learn after being dumped, but she doesn’t, she just looks to be loved by someone else.

In most cases it becomes a habit and can be tough to break. Teenage girls in the world today have very little respect for themselves because they really don’t know any better. They are just following the pattern that women have been following for generations. In society’s eyes as well as their own they are not wrong. My desire for them is that they will be taught that they are very special and they deserve so much more than they think. I pray everyday that they will realize God loves them more than anyone ever could. They have so much to offer, if they just believe in and respect themselves.

There are the beginnings of respect, starting in the classrooms of America. How does respect for your superiors begin? Many people have ideas on how to reclaim the virtue and morality that made America a great nation. However, the only sure way that everyone can achieve this goal is if parents start teaching and demonstrating respect to their kids. The dictionary defines respect as- “to have regard for the quality of a person” or “to refrain from obtruding upon or interfering with”. The problem with society today is that there is a complete lack of respect.

The lack of respect is evident everywhere, people have no respect for the law, they have no respect for their peers, and they definitely do not have any respect for themselves. What parents need to do is from an early age teach their kids to respect everyone, from the person sitting next to them in school to their coworkers in the future. People do not understand how much better the nation would be if the respect was there. Even if some parents do not teach their kids this valuable trait, if enough people are taught to respect others it will catch on. In most cases, if someone shows respect to someone else, that person is more likely to respect them back; causing a chain reaction.

Right now, not enough parents are teaching their kids respect and this causes violence, crimes, and can even lead to drug use. It is easy to see how these problems can be easily solved or would be nonexistent if their was respect. Violence would not be a problem, because no one would fight if they had respect for the other person. The next problem is crime. Nobody is going to steal or vandalize someone’s property if they respect them. One other problem is drug use, this would not be a problem is people respected themselves enough to not harm their bodies with drugs. They also would not sell drugs because selling something to someone that will harm them is not showing respect to that person.

It is extremely easy to sit back and say that parents should teach respect, but it is not as easy to actually teach it. For there is really no way to teach a child to respect others. Parents can tell their children to respect others all they want, but the only way a child will actually learn respect is from observing their parents as well as others showing respect. This is why teaching respect is so difficult, even if a child sees his parents respecting others it may not be enough, the child must see other people respecting others. They must also feel that other people respect them, because if they do not get respect they will not respect anyone. This is why it is so important for everyone to show respect to everyone else, not only will kids see it, but the more respect that is shown to others the more respect that is received. For these reasons respect is the chief ingredient in reestablishing the morality and virtue that made America a great nation.


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