Respect and love

Writer: Jana Mogahed

Editor: Khaled Mohammed

Designer: Abdelrahman Gamal

What do you think is the most important emotion we, as humans, feel? Is it joy, grief, fear, oranger? You would think they’re all equally significant. It’s true; we have to feel all of these emotions in order to feel the rest. We are happy when we succeed in something, remember the first time you held a certificate in school; though this may have brought about worry that you might not make it up to this level of success next year. We feel blue when unfortunate events occur, like having to cancel plans because of work overload; however, satisfaction rains over us when we finish the task, even though we would feel like we could sleep for days. There is a mixture of too many emotions in these past scenarios, but there is one overlooked emotion that is more important than all: respect. The reason respect is so vital is that it is not only an emotion but also a social gesture. For example, affirming someone’s opinion that is unlike yours is the least you can do to show respect. See? It’s an act that we do and receive daily, that’s why it is a basic pillar of social communication. Without respect, we live a life that’s not worth living. Why is respect important in any relationship? Love does not indicate respect, some people show love in the form of abuse. The most common example of abusive love is in parent-child relationships, with 6% of children under 5 being maltreated by their parents. But that does not mean that their parents dislike them. In fact, they claim that their toxic mistreatment is “for their own (children’s) good”, but they never consider the needs of their children and acknowledge the fact that children have more energy than adults that needs to be channeled into something, without being yelled at or beaten. The truth is, most of the children exposed to parental abuse grow up having trust issues and being overly aggressive with other people. On the other hand, children often lack respect for their parents too. Like when the reckless mind of a teenager wants to run some risks but fails to consider the fact that if anything happens, their parents are the ones responsible. The downsides of this kind of relationship are very evident in the famous TV show “Newton’s Cradle”, in which misunderstandings between parent and child cause the main character “Hana” to fly off to a whole other continent without informing her mother, yet expects her to understand. It is also portrayed in the character “Badr”, as he refused to believe that his daughter’s suicide is his fault. In other platonic or romantic relationships, one side prioritizes other emotions over respect, resulting in a toxic relationship. We hear about toxic relationships all the time, but we never realize that most of us are in at least one. One of the emotions that always get in the way of respect, is pride. For instance, your friend can be jealous of you because of a recent achievement you made. We also see this in married couples, where one partner may be jealous of their spouse’s more stable income. Yes, love is present in these types of relationships, but respect is certainly lacking, losing out to pride and jealousy. At the end of the day, we only have the people that we love, so hold onto them tightly, and show them not only love and affection, but also respect. Understand their needs and compromise. We may have different thoughts on how to show respect, but one thing that we all agree on is that the best part of being in love is feeling respected and appreciated.