I am someone who has a very, very strong view on respect. For me it is the most important factor in a person. My view on this has only strengthened throughout working voluntarily in the past few years in one of the most competitive industries in the world. In my opinion you never gain respect automatically, it doesn’t matter who you are or how old you are- you need to earn it. The phrase ‘respect your elders’ is nonsense to me, I respect everybody no matter how old they are. If an ‘elderly’ person doesn’t give me respect they will not receive an ounce in return. Once somebody has my respect I will do anything for them, I would run a million miles for them. If they do something to lose it, they will never get it back- it is as simple as that. It says a lot when someone who is considerably older speaks to you like an adult, giving you the same treatment as they would anybody else- particularly when they hold a position which consists of authority. For me, talking down to someone, especially when you have the word ‘manager’ in your job description puts you at the bottom the lowest pile.
I was born into a family that trains respect from an early age. Treat others as you would like to be treated is a phrase which best represents my family. Secondary school also has a key part to play, that age when you are beginning to see the world from the ‘real life’ point of view. Those teachers who go that bit further than their job to teach you not only about education, but life. It is very easy to spot those teachers among the rest. From a personal point of view, Lesley Cret’u and Lisa Easton stick out like a sore thumb during my school days, being a helping hand for a whole 5 years between the age of 11-16- arguably the hardest period to guide someone growing up! Lesley was my form tutor and always offered guidance to not only myself but the class. A great teacher, one of the more genuine people teaching in our school at the time- always there to go that extra mile. Lisa Easton was our year head, this woman genuinely cared about every pupil in our year group. Lisa started teaching in the school when our year group started in year 7 and also taught me for History. She is quick to give me guidance and help even now and I left school years ago- that speaks volumes for me. Andrew Mackenzie and Kris Mansfield are two former tutors I have spoken about frequently in one of my previous posts and are stand out influences for me in particular. They bridged that gap from school to 6th form with perfection.
I have worked for a number of years in bars and retail. Working in these industries I have also met other key figures where respect is concerned. Managers such as Ritchie Mac, Craig Tsai and Neil Brown who I worked for at the age of 16 in retail and later Louise Jordan in the bar industry. All of them made working easy and a pleasure. They praised me when I deserved it and criticised me when it was needed- and in a suitable manner. Not only did they go about their job in the right way but they treated me and everybody else the same. Steven Woods is another fantastic example of how to treat people in the right way. Many others can learn from the likes of Steven, a genuine man who treats you as a person and not a number-with utmost respect at all times.
There are so many other people I could mention here, but fortunately for me I associate myself with good people- meaning this post would be far too long if I was to mention everyone. People can say this post is pointless because everybody knows respect is vital. So then why do so many people lack respect? It costs nothing, people need to be educated to treat people in the right way. It is a matter which makes my bloody boil on a regular basis.