“If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.” These words of Maya Angelou acknowledge a widely-taught and revered quality; however, raises an intuitive, thought-provoking concern. Although respect is glorified and enforced in many households, businesses, communities, and administrations, many people do not fully understand this moral value. This raises the following questions: what exactly is respect, and why is it so important?Respect plays a role in everyday life, including in school and family. Having respect for teachers and parents are necessary to build strong relationships. Respect means believing that other people have civic sense, honesty, and common decency is needed to coexist with others. If one person believes in their own integrity than they will believe in the integrity of others. If one were to have no integrity, then others would appear the same way. Illustratively, a man that is planning to steal money from a bank cannot be confident that others are not planning to steal. It is not simply wishful thinking that a man with integrity can significantly impact the integrity of others. Personal relationships act as a sphere of influence for all people and often have a profound effect on their actions. Respecting others is respecting yourself. You are designed to see yourself in others. Self-respect encompasses a multitude of ideas, but it comes down to being the kind of person you are satisfied with showing the world and being someone that you and the people you care about are proud of. It is about treating others well and knowing that others will treat you well in return. Furthermore, self-respect is about having the courage to stand up for yourself when you are being treated in a manner that is less than what you deserve. When people have self-respect they treat everyone else with respect but acknowledge that not everyone will do the same. The ability to be proud of yourself is the ascendant aspect of self-respect. Without pride in yourself and your actions, you could be belittling yourself and compromising your values. By respecting yourself, you will respect the people around you and be humble enough to realize they want what’s best for you and have valuable advice to give.If nobody had respect for the views of others and ways of thinking, they would try to impose their own will and would stop tolerating each other. In other words, we would become selfish in our thoughts, which would result in moral degradation and we would slip towards immoral actions. Society would not be able to function without the many innovations and contributions of different people; therefore a society without respect would be chaos because there would be no way of communication between them. Respect means assigning the same rights to others as you would assign to yourself and acknowledging boundaries and agreeing to meet them. Developing healthy relationships means that one has the space to be themselves and maintain their personal integrity. It is impossible to have a harmonious relationship when one side judges the other to be unworthy. How can you treat someone well when you feel they are unworthy and have no value? How can you be helpful to them when you feel they have nothing to add? How can you have a high opinion of someone who views you as unworthy and value-less? It is important to remember that respect is reciprocal; when you respect someone you will recognize the value in them. You will treat them in a way that shows you find them valuable, and they respect you in return. The world is made a better place when there is respect.To conclude, respect is needed in society to function and to maintain healthy relationships. If we are purposive about developing respectful relationships in our lives, what we are doing is cultivating alliances to maximize our own potential and the potential of the groups we are part of. We will all view each other as valuable and will start adding value to each other’s lives. Therefore, respect is an extremely important value and is worth striving for.

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