Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Liked or Respected

Is it more important to be liked or respected? ("65 Deep Philosophical Questions" by Operation-Meditation: retrieved from:

Underlying this question is the assumption that a trade-off exists between being liked and respected. Often this question is asked regarding those in authority – should the school teacher seek first to be liked or first to be respected? If the teacher is to be liked then the assumption seems to be they must lose some respect. All we have to do is consult our experience to realize that there is no trade-off here. Those teachers that we respected the most almost invariably are the ones we liked the most, and vice versa.

At the base of whether we like and respect someone is the values which we wish to live by. Every morning  I look at three graphics.  I look at a comic strip (Dilbert) which I cut out from the newspaper some time ago. In the final frame, the following statement is made:  "My daddy used to say it isn't a problem if you can give it to someone else." Next, I look at a newspaper photograph of a mobster being escorted down a hallway. He has a beaming smile on his face. He epitomizes for me those persons who have no concern for the destructive wake they cause--as long as they personally come out smelling like a rose.  Finally I look daily at a photograph of my father. He has his arm around my brother and me when we were children. One glance at my father's visage and you know instantly that he is not the kind of man that cares nothing about the wake he causes. Quite to the contrary, he is deeply concerned about the implications of his actions for others.

So when I look at the mobster on the one hand and my father on the other, it is clear that some would greatly admire the mobster – the tough guy with the lust to successfully externalize problems.  These people would see my father as weak and lacking macho class. For me there is no debate whom I choose to like and respect.  What about you?

Print Page