Respect. It's a heavy word, isn't it?
The Mr. and I were debating something last night, and I wanted to see what the general feeling about respect is.
I'm a firm believer that respect is earned. While you should treat everyone well, respect itself isn't something that is handed out. Respect is an important, serious, important thing that only people whom I trust and have "proven" themselves to me, have earned.
The Mr., on the other hand, believes that you should respect those who are older than you, by age and experience, alone. Regardless of if you just met them 30 seconds ago.
I liken trust and respect together. I don't trust easily...maybe it's a defense mechanism, but I'd hate to trust easily and then be burned, or worse, have my children hurt. I feel the same about respect. How can I respect someone I just met without knowing his character? How do I know that he's not some pedophile or serial killer who CERTAINLY wouldn't deserve my (or anyone else's, for that matter) respect?
Now, I DO feel that people deserve to be treated with the Golden Rule...always have, always will. I expect my children to be kind to others and to be respectFUL to their elders (teachers, coaches, etc.), but I don't expect them to outright RESPECT people out of virtue.
What's your policy? Respect your elders always, no matter what? Or do people have to earn your respect?
Deep in marital strife (okay, not really),