Some will recall comic Rodney Dangerfield‘s catch phrase. Others may remember Aretha Franklin’s iconic spelling. When you respect someone, it is a verb. When you get respect, it is a noun. Either way, it has positive connotations.
If I respect you, it does not necessarily or obligatory follow that you will respect me. Many cultures show respect for elders; it does not follow that the elders must respect the young. Nor is it necessarily disrespectful if they do not. So respecting someone is no guarantee that they will respect you.
Respect should be unconditional. If I respect you only on condition that you respect me, that is false respect. If you merit respect, I should respect you, regardless of whether you return it to me. Respect others but do so without conditioning it on being respected in return.
Respect is a virtue when paid. When respect is received treat it as a gift, a gift of grace. Act to earn respect but give up attachment to the outcome. Be grateful for the respect you earn but do not treasure it. It is better to respect than to be respected.
On November 22, 2001 on his 80th birthday, Dangerfield suffered a heart attack while backstage at the ‘Tonight Show’. During his hospital stay, the staff were reportedly upset that he smoked marijuana in his room. But he was back at the ‘Tonight Show’ a year later, performing on his 81st birthday.
On April 8, 2003, Dangerfield underwent brain surgery to improve blood flow in preparation for heart valve-replacement surgery on a later date. The heart surgery took place on August 24, 2004. Entering the hospital, he uttered another characteristic one-liner when asked how long he would be hospitalized:
If all goes well, about a week. If not, about an hour and a half.
In September 2004, it was revealed that Dangerfield had been in a coma for several weeks. Afterward, he began breathing on his own and showing signs of awareness when visited by friends. However, he died on October 5, 2004 at the UCLA Medical Center, a month and a half shy of his 83rd birthday, from complications of the surgery he had undergone in August. Jo