Without respect and trust, there is no genuine love
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - February 14, 2020 - 12:00am

On this day of love, let me share with you my reflections on respect and trust, without which there can be no genuine love.

More than affections, much more than romance, and even beyond friendship is the importance of respect as an essential foundation of love. I firmly believe that no one can truly express authentic love when there is no respect between the lover and the beloved. Affections, romances, and friendships are nothing but shams without basic respect. Affections are fake, romances are self-seeking and friendships can never be authentic without respect. Between lovers, spouses, parents and children, siblings, and friends, respect is the fundamental basis of genuine love.

Respect is the most telling manifestation of true love. At the end, affections may fade, romances may diminish, friendship may even sour. But when there is respect, love will survive. What then is respect? It is the sincere and consistent acceptance of the truth that the other person has human dignity, who cannot be used, much less abused. It means that the other person, whether a spouse, a parent, a son, a daughter, a sibling, or a friend deserves to be treated with some degree of sensitivity, consideration, and deference. One who professes love must never put the other person to the point of embarrassment, insult, sarcasm, or undue provocation. Respect is being sensitive and considerate to the feelings of one beloved.

And what is trust? It is that feeling of utmost confidence that the other party will never hurt or betray him or her

Trust is a result of genuine loyalty and fidelity to the beloved even under very harsh and trying conditions. Love, I do believe cannot survive without trust. The reason why the much-celebrated marriage of Lady Diana Spencer to Prince Charles did not survive was that, from the very start, there was not complete trust. And that trust was broken because of another woman named Camilla. The reason why Elizabeth Taylor married nine times and divorced also nine times was because each marriage was not founded on trust.

Any marriage, any friendship, and any business partnership can never survive without both respect and trust. When you think of broken marriages, and shattered families, and you start to analyze the ultimate cause of such unfortunate experiences, you will begin to realize that somehow respect was not forgotten and trust was broken. I have interviewed many OFWs when I worked as labor attaché in our embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Kuwait, and Taiwan. I have heard first-person accounts of their families and marriages wasted away because of the loss of respect and trust.

At my age, I feel that affections, romances, and friendships somehow might have diminished. But as long as respect and trust remain, love will never perish. Happy Valentine’s Day.


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