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Respect denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity (such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conduct representative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., "I have great respect for her judgment").


  • We claim no respectability. There's no status I would not surrender for a joke. So we don't have to defend anything.
  • Many of us saw religion as harmless nonsense. Beliefs might lack all supporting evidence but, we thought, if people needed a crutch for consolation, where's the harm? September 11th changed all that. Revealed faith is not harmless nonsense, it can be lethally dangerous nonsense. Dangerous because it gives people unshakeable confidence in their own righteousness. Dangerous because it gives them false courage to kill themselves, which automatically removes normal barriers to killing others. Dangerous because it teaches enmity to others labelled only by a difference of inherited tradition. And dangerous because we have all bought into a weird respect, which uniquely protects religion from normal criticism. Let's now stop being so damned respectful!
  • My political ideal is democracy. Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized.
  • To further the appreciation of culture among all the people, to increase respect for the creative individual, to widen participation by all the processes and fulfillments of art—this is one of the fascinating challenges of these days.
    • John F. Kennedy, “The Arts in America,” Look (December 18, 1962), p. 110.
  • Achte dich selbst, wenn du willst, dass andere dich achten sollen!
    • Translation: Respect yourself, if you want others to respect you.
    • Adolf Freiherr Knigge, from Über den Umgang mit Menschen.
  • Entre los Individuos, como entre Las Naciones, El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.
    • Translation: Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.
    • Benito Juárez, Statement of Juárez inscribed as a Motto on the State Flag of Oaxaca, of which he was Governor from 1847 to 1853.
    • Variant translations: Among individuals as among nations, when there is respect, there is peace. Respect for the rights of others means peace.
  • Respect is the foundation of a stable way of life and the basis of a code of conduct.
    • Dame Vera Lynn, English singer, variety performer. Ch. 7, Sincerely Yours, Some Sunny Day (2009), p. 161.
  • Self-respect without the respect of others is like a jewel which will not stand the daylight.
  • In terms of earthly life as you understand it, it is overly optimistic to imagine that eventually all illnesses will be conquered, all relationships be inevitably fulfilling, or to foresee a future in which all people on earth are treated with equality and respect.
  • Every human being, of whatever origin, of whatever station, deserves respect. We must each respect others even as we respect ourselves. This, as the sages of many lands have taught us, is a golden rule in individual and group, as well as international, relations.
    • U Thant, Portfolio for Peace (1968), p. 92.
  • The combination of these two facts — the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it — constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality.
    Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes also that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect.
    • Simone Weil, Draft for a Statement of Human Obligation (1943).

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