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The only reason why I respect you

Respect

Respect

I love fruits. I feel refreshed anytime I take fruits. Sometimes I take apples, other times I take oranges, pineapple or bananas – In no particular order really. A couple of days ago I stopped by a fruit shop on my way home, to buy bananas. The bunch that caught my eyes looked really attractive such that I had already pictured myself munching it down with fresh fried groundnuts, while catching up with Nigeria’s political drama on TV – perfect evening. I had looked to buy banana the day before but couldn’t find any. With a broad smile on my face and in Pidgin English I gently asked the seller ‘Madam how much?’ To my uttermost surprise, she ignored me for minutes until after I had asked for the third time. She then muttered an outrageous amount and added ‘Oga, Banana don cost’, walking in and out of her shop. Clearly, she was convinced she was doing me a favour by giving me the privilege to buy a bunch of banana! Fast forward a few hours later, I was home, alone devastated without banana. Her attitude was quite rude and disrespectful. I couldn’t stop thinking why a business person would show such disrespect to customers. Anyway, enough of the woman and her boring banana.

I think that respecting others is an attitude, meaning we don’t expect the other person to be rude, harmful, distrustful or disgusting. Respecting others is simply respecting ones self. It is to see ones self in the other person. Respecting others is a silent way to express our feeling for them. It’s an unspoken way of communication which build unshaken and strong relations between people respecting each other.

When a person shows respect for someone, then it means that the person has some value for him. Right?

Imagine a world without respect. Think about what it would look like if we all do not have respect for others, their views and thinking. Certainly we will stop tolerating each other completely and will become absolutely selfish in our thoughts and deeds. In short if respect is taken out of human values then there is almost no difference between a human being and an animal , other than physical appearances.

Again, understanding people’s beliefs allows us as human beings, to communicate and share ideas with each other. If we respect other people, we will gain respect back. Because the world is caught up in stereotypes, we assume wrong things all the time. If we really took the time to understand and respect, we might make a better world. Treating people with respect makes the world a nicer place to live in, whether it’s at home, at school, at a fruit shop or  in our community. And it’s easy – all you have to do is treat people the way you like to have them treat you.

Imagine if we do not insult people or make fun of them.
Imagine if we listen to others when they speak.
Imagine if we Value other people’s opinions.
Imagine if we do not talk about people behind their backs.
Imagine if we are sensitive to other people’s feelings.
Imagine if we do not pressure people to do something they do not want to do.

We live in a diverse nation made up of different cultures, languages, and backgrounds. That kind of variety can make all our lives a lot more interesting, but only if we get along with each other. And to do that we have to respect each other – And this is why I respect you.

Like Suzy Kassem wrote “When we continue to hate, we continue to lose. When we amplify mutual respect and love, we have a lot to gain. Quite simply, there is more for us to gain through love than hate.”

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22 Responses

  1. Cheta says

    Hmmmm…my frustration for business people..lack of customer service…its so rampant in Nigeria..i assume she had made enough money for the day too..lol..
    Nice view on respect Emeka..thanks

    • Emeka says

      I agree with you on that, Cheta. Could be frustrating sometimes. Thanks for taking time out to read :)

  2. Uncommondamsel says

    Online defination – respect

    rɪˈspɛkt/

    noun

    1.

    a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

    I spent some of my former years in nigeria and I feel like it’s an attribute we very much lack. We preach it alot, where ever one goes, you hear people demanding respect however they never offer it up;especially those in the service industry. I say this because I have experienced it in banks, grocery stores, open street markets etc
    I just don’t get why they can’t understand respect will go a long way to earn them a fortune both on a personal level and financially.

    Love your blog so far, keep up the fab work ☺

    • Emeka says

      Ah, the attitude of disrespect is evidently commonplace. Thanks for pointing that out; I often wonder why some people would demand respect and not offer it. However we choose to look at it, respect is reciprocal.
      Glad you love the blog. Thanks a lot for reading :)

  3. livelytwist says

    I am very surprised by her attitude. It seems she didn’t want to sell. She could have just said that it was reserved and already been bought, and then offered you other fruit to buy. I’m still shaking my head . . .

    • Emeka says

      Timi, I couldn’t believe it myself either. Maybe she had made enough money for the day and didn’t really care anymore. I literally shook my head till I got home…

  4. Yatin Khulbe says

    Hi Emeka
    Wonderful post, indeed
    By respecting others, we respect ourselves only. I can’t imagine a world without any respect. It will be a nightmare.
    The banana lady might be frustrated with her personal life. She might be having some financial problems. It’s very easy to analyze someone by external judgment. You did your best way by maintaining your composure.
    I respect you from the bottom of my heart, buddy.

    • Emeka says

      Thanks Yatin. Ahh, a world without respect will certainly be horrendous.
      I hope she sorts herself because if a retailer keeps disrespecting people that way, they’ll surely be out of business in no time.
      Thanks again for offering your digital voice to this piece, and I respect you too :)

  5. ikechi says

    Hi Emeka

    You are certainly right about respect. I wonder why people don’t try to understand each other. If we did, we will be able to respect each other.

    I too imagine a world where there is respect for one another. Sorry you had to go through such experience. That is the Nigerian factor.

    I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing. Take Care

    • Emeka says

      Ikechi: I’m hesitant to believe this is a ‘Nigerian factor’ – That attitude, I think, is more personal than general.
      I do know that treating people with utmost respect will definitely leave a memorable impression on them..And if we dont, who will?
      Thanks for dropping by & I’m glad you enjoyed reading :)

  6. Harleena Singh says

    Hi Emeka,

    Good to be over at your blog and read this wonderful post :)

    You are right about all that you wrote, and it’s only when we respect ourselves, will we be able to respect others. So, I wonder whether the banana lady respected herself, as otherwise she’d have respected others, especially her customers.

    As the saying goes, do onto others as you expect them to do unto you. Thus, if you wish to receive respect, you need to show respect too. Respect is always earned. It has to be both ways or it doesn’t really work, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing this with us at the ABC, and good to see our wonderful Ahaian’s here already. Have a nice week ahead :)

    • Emeka says

      Hi Harleena,

      My point exactly. I could almost tell she had no respect for herself. I think our reputation is enhanced when others feel respected and treated well in our presence. Ultimately, I believe having respect for others lays the path for a more convenient life, a life outside of isolation where others are willing to play a part in our overall success.
      Thanks for stopping by & yes AHA is such a warm tribe :)

  7. Rachel says

    Hey Emeka,

    You are so right about respect. First you must respect yourself and then it portrayed outwardly. However we live in a “me” generation at this very moment, where a natural response can now be impolite or what you experienced as down right rude.

    I am sorry you went without banana’s especially after you have seen them and pictured eating them. Great big disappointment, however you dont hand over your money for rude customer service, simply put – it was her lose and not yours. Not only did she lose that sale, but you would probably go to another store before you entered hers again.

    People might not remember what you say, but they certainly remember how we made them feel.

    I wonder if rude became more impolite with the increase of the internet and how our behaviours have changed whilst communicating through this medium?

    Anyway I think it was a great post and very relevant to todays big issues. Talk soon.

    Rachel.

    • Emeka says

      I agree with you Rachel. People will always remember how you make them feel, which is why the key to treating people with respect is to treat them as you would like to be treated.
      I think that no matter who they are, each person we meet has an intrinsic value that must be recognized and respected by us. As much I think that internet penetration has also increased online hate, I am not sure it has necessarily changed our real life communication as much. Check out an article I wrote a while ago about online hate http://www.bellanaija.com/2014/09/04/emeka-obia-the-danger-with-hating-on-social-media/

      Many thanks for stopping by :)

  8. Jenn McKay says

    Hi Emeka, I agree that respecting others is a vital material in our social fabric. I personal believe that everyone deserves to be treated with respect. But I think that many people have confused showing respect for a person’s humanity with being subservient. I think this is sad. It speaks volumes to how many people see the construct of being social creatures (you’re either above or below – there doesn’t seem to be much equal).

    • Emeka says

      Yes Jenn. I also think that everyone (no matter who) deserves to be treated with respect. Respect for ourselves guides our morals and respect for others guides our manners.

      I also find that fallacy of inequality worrisome – That misconception is somewhat chauvinist ideals that should be frowned at. Losing respect for each other, our government, our religious institutions, our social norms, and our mutually accepted ways of moving together through society is much more serious, and may have far reaching effects if we don’t act to turn things around. Thanks for reading :)

      • Jenn McKay says

        Well, we can turn things around and I think we are slowly. While many live sideways because of fear, there are many who live in love and abundance. And respecting ourselves as well as allowing others space for grumpiness or rudeness on bad days while showing respect for them regardless is truly a few steps in the right direction :)

  9. Chioma Anozie says

    Hi Emeka,

    You are right, mutual respect is important if we really want to cohabit peacefully. Not only that, mutual respect is necessary for development and growth. See how the banana seller lost some potential income from you and see how you had to forfeit your desire to munch those tasty bananas (BTW, local sellers can be quite surprising atimes. I have met a few that made me feel really bad with the way they addressed and tended to me. I thought I was the only one. Now I see that poor customer service seems to be an epidemic. Pity!)

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful article. It reinforces my belief that one should respect others before they demand respect. I strongly believe respect is reciprocal.

    Do have a nice day.

    • Emeka says

      Ditto!
      The banana seller has not only lost some potential income but has completely lost my share of wallet. I think that attitude is quite common among local sellers here. I’m sure we aren’t the only ones that have experienced such poor customer service…and I totally agree with you, respect is reciprocal. Thanks for reading and sharing your experience here, Chioma :)

  10. Enyene says

    Having to deal with a disrespectful shopkeeper is not uncommon. And unfortunately that is a bad thing.
    Respect spells value like you said. Value for ourselves, value for others.

    • Emeka says

      True, Enyene. I hope that we all begin to appreciate the value in showing respect to others. Thanks for reading

  11. Enyene says

    Having to deal with a disrespectful shopkeeper is not uncommon. And unfortunately that is a bad thing.
    Respect spells value like you said. Value for ourselves, value for others!

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