Respect & Obedience

Once again life has supplied the choice of this week’s tenet for discussion.  In this case, the related pair that share one place in the list of 7 Tenets; Respect and Obediance.

Respect • 경의
Obedience • 복종

re·spect noun \ri-ˈspekt\

: a feeling of admiring someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc.

: a feeling or understanding that someone or something is important, serious, etc., and should be treated in an appropriate way

: a particular way of thinking about or looking at something

obe·di·ence noun \ō-ˈbē-dē-ən(t)s, ə-\

:  an act or instance of obeying

:  the quality or state of being obedient

(I’m terribly behind in my posting so I’m going to post this prematurely as a place holder and to at least get it out on time.  My thoughts on the subject are in my head but just not quite getting to my fingers at this moment.)

Respect and obedience take on a very complex and different perspective when you’re an adult. We start out as children with a very prescriptive version of “respect”. Respect your parents, respect your teacher, respect your Scoutmaster,  respect your elders, respect the police, respect G-d, and so on.  As kids, respect is only slightly differenced from fear and unquestioning obedience to authority.


With time and experience comes the revelation that true respect must be earned along with the notion that it is possible — even desirable — to question authority.  By desirable I don’t mean the ’60s anarchist version of Question Authority(tm) but the kind of reasoned skepticism advocated by Ben Franklin: “It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority. “

As adults we, hopefully, recognize that we are responsible for which figures we recognize as authorities worthy of our respect or our obedience; whether those figures are individual people, professions worthy of respect, or wholly abstract authorities like the law.  With this recognition also comes the realization that we sometimes need to show respect (or at least its poor cousin, deference) to people we don’t respect because they hold positions that we respect in the abstract. Sometimes we have to respect the title even if we don’t respect the title holder.

But there is another, more subtle, aspect of respect that bears consideration and that’s the respect between peers.

(to be continued…)




Exercise on this day: Ahneso Phakuro Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R) · Ahp Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R) · Tollyo Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R) · Yup Cha Gi: 32 Kicks (L&R)

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