The makers of the book “100 Menschen – 100 Geschichten” (100 People – 100 Stories) interviewed people from all kinds of backgrounds in Germany on the issue of respect. What does respect mean? How have people experienced respect or the lack of it? And why is respect important?
They asked Prof. Niels Van Quaquebeke to provide some scientific fodder for the debate and illustrate the research perspective on and history of respect.
His commentary complements those of prominent people in Germany, such as football coach Jürgen Klopp (Borussia Dortmund), Minister President Hannelore Kraft (North Rhine-Westphalia), investigative journalist Günter Wallraff, and famous primatologist Jane Goodall.
Together, the 100 stories paint a picture of respect as social adhesive, without which any society would quickly fall apart. Treating others with respect is not only a moral end in itself, but also has instrumental reasons.
Increased individualization and globalization call for new meta-values that bind people together. Respect is one of them. If not, according to Prof. Van Quaquebeke, the central one.
Photo: Flickr / Mars Hill Church Seattle