TODAY -

Culture of respect
- Imphal Times Editorial :: September 05 2017 -



While the topic of ‘respect’ may seem too trivial a matter for discussion or deliberation given the uncountable ‘pressing issues’ that are occupying the minds and the concerns of the people of the state, it must be said that one of the most significant barriers to progress of a particular society is a dysfunctional culture rooted in widespread disrespect which are being manifested in various ways and manner including disruptive behavior; humiliating, demeaning treatment of others who are less fortunate; passive-aggressive behavior towards the more vulnerable individuals or groups; passive disrespect; dismissive treatment of others who are financially weaker; and systemic disrespect to mention a few.

If we only care enough to delve further into the topic, it would become clear that creating a culture of respect is the essential first step in a society’s journey to becoming a safe, highly reliable one that provides a supportive and nurturing environment and a conducive atmosphere that enables the public to engage wholeheartedly in various aspects of our social lives.

A culture of respect requires that the society as a whole and the government in particular develop effective methods for responding to episodes of disrespectful behavior while also initiating the cultural changes needed to prevent such episodes from occurring.

Both responding to and preventing disrespect are major challenges for the leaders of the state as well as of the different communities or groups who must create the preconditions for a positive change towards this end and lead in establishing and practicing the same.

When disrespectful behavior occurs, it must be addressed consistently and transparently.

Central to an effective response is a code of conduct that establishes unequivocally the expectation that everyone is entitled to be treated with courtesy, honesty, respect, and dignity.

The code must be enforced fairly through a clear and explicit process and applied consistently regardless of one’s position, social standing or community.

Creating a culture of respect requires action on many fronts such as modeling respectful conduct and educating the general public on appropriate behavior that increase the sense of fairness, transparency, collaboration, and individual responsibility.

Respect is something that people often take for granted.

After all, most individuals, or on a broader perspective different communities or groups are ‘okay with each other’.

But the goal must be to achieve a social environment where people want to be, where mutual trust and easy harmony replaces enmity and distrust, where suspicion and wariness has no place.

Creating a positive culture goes beyond conversations about diversity and celebrating differences.

A foundation of how we treat others and solve problems and modeling that throughout the society is far more important than isolated assemblies, monthly themes and small group crisis management.

Giving people interpersonal skills can be a huge benefit for them in their social life, and much of the distress we see in our world currently can be ultimately drilled down to a general inability to disagree respectfully and continue to work for a harmonious solution.

It is through respect that the talents and efforts of others can be recognized and appreciated.

Respect creates sincerity which is the need of the hour if we are to even begin wishing for a better society.



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