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Do you know these women?

Seven women who deserve respect

If not, it's high time! Seven women who excel. And they show us: they still exist, the role models we have respect for. And from which we can look for one or the other

The respect has crept away from us. After the financial crisis, we no longer had any respect for the bankers. After the abuse scandals in Catholic boarding schools no longer before clergy. And then the politicians ... Guttenberg faked, Wulff was only on bargain, and Niebel (Development Minister with army cap) smuggled a Persian carpet.

Respect is the lubricant of society. If it lacks, the coexistence fails. Respect - this means first of all the respect for the other. It does not matter if it's the office colleague you do not really like, but still deserves a friendly "hello" in the morning. Or the bus driver, who drives to work every day and therefore should at least now and then be smiled at by us. And the partner with whom even the worst fight should never go below the emotional waistline.

Almost 50 years is the demand old, the Aretha Franklin once fervently sang in her microphone: "Just a little respect." Nevertheless, the words are not lacking in actuality. They are as timeless as our yearning for tolerance, good intercourse with each other and role models.

Every time therefore needs people to look up to. Our grandparents still treated officials such as judges, police officers, politicians, but also teachers, professors, doctors and postmen with special respect. This changed at the latest when the 68ers rolled out the banners "Under the Talaren - Muff of 1000 years" at the universities. There was much good in this doubt of the authorities: old, retracted structures were broken up. Today, however, role models are a rare commodity.

"We have become much more sensitive and ask if anyone really deserves the respect of his office, " says Niels Van Quaquebeke, who researches respect at the Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, and: "Dignitaries therefore have to renew their respect over and over again work out."

That is why we are constantly asking the question of legitimacy. Only those who behave consistently correctly, we also pay attention. At the same time we wish for strong figures like Helmut Schmidt (93). The former chancellor is booming - no social or political problem that does not require his opinion. He is a moral authority.

"In our increasingly complex world, we long for a legitimized hierarchy, " says Quaquebeke. In other words, it is okay for us to follow a boss or a politician - as long as they can really do something. The recognition of the other also means that we take ourselves back. When we respect a stranger, we lift her onto a pedestal, giving power to her. But power also always knows the side of abuse. So we are vulnerable. Therefore, we first extensively check the character strength of the opponent. "It's not necessarily the superficial power that counts, " explains Van Quaquebeke.

Take Mesut Özil . Some will appreciate that because of his integrative effect as a German Turk in the national team - not because he plays football so well. And very few people know that Iris Berben is committed to Israel - most people like her because she is an attractive actress even at the age of 62 . So everyone gives away respect for different reasons. Conversely, this also means that no one can choose what he or she is respected for.

Margot Käßmann is less remembered today for her work as a country bishop than for her uncompromising resignation, having been caught with 1.5 thousandths at the wheel of her company car. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg will be remembered for his embarrassing behavior towards the end of his career, not for the reform of the Bundeswehr, which he initiated.

Sometimes gender also decides who we are to show respect for. Angela Merkel, Ursula von der Leyen and Friede Springer - they are also given respect for being able to assert themselves in male domains such as top politics and supervisory boards, for decades. Generally, men are better off putting their services in the right light. "They present themselves to the outside much more than women, " says Van Quaquebeke, "and tend to clearly claim actual but supposed accomplishments." Ultimately, there is only one rule: anyone who demands respect must start with himself. It is not worth complaining about the creeping loss of respect, being upset about bankers or politicians when they lack respect for one another's behavior. We do not have to start the big revolutions that make headlines right away.

Even for little heroic deeds one is admired and respected - at least in the circle of friends and in the family.

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