Respect is earnt goes the old adage, and whilst there's an element of truth in this, it also suggests that there's a time for disrespect, and I'm not so sure about that.

One of my proudest achievements as a Dad is to have raised two sons who understand the power and significance of respecting others, and I love that throughout their entire school careers we had endless comments from teachers about how respectful they both were. I've drilled my sons on respect and they know that respect is given, whether it is earnt or demanded is irrelevant.

I like the fact that boxing as a sport encourages respect. Boxing encourages respect of one's coach, respect of one's opponent and respect for the ring. Each of these are incredibly important and are good for instilling the discipline of respect outside of the boxing gym. 

Boxing is a sport that thrives on respect, with that respect being built on discipline and self-control. The discipline required for boxing can be quite intense and is often a reason for people deciding it's not for them. For me the discipline has been addictive and so I'm happy to go that bit further, but it does require commitment, and it comes at a cost. Respect is also built on self-control with this being very important in the ring. Losing one's temper in the ring is seriously bad news (even if it is a natural reaction to being hit) and generally leads to a loss of respect for one's opponent and invariably leads to losing. I guess there's a metaphor in there for life itself.

The top photo is one of my all time favourites since starting to box, as it shows Conrad & I in conversation with Coach Cris back in the build up to our first fight. I think this picture speaks of respect. It speaks of respect in boxing, respect across age gaps and respect across cultures (there are three different cultures represented in this picture). I know that both Conrad and myself have a huge amount of respect for Cris as we do for each of the boxing coaches we've had both at CEY and now at Knockout Centre.

This is what my lovely wife said of the top photo when she shared it on social media: "This picture speaks to my soul, it is emotionally charged and just full of LIFE. Coach and contenders; challenge; growth; moving on; changing lives; confidence; leading by example; community; friendship; "I can"; fun; pushing through; respect ....and much, much more!!"

Respect is also one of the defining characteristics of The Gathering and it's something I try to model in my leadership of the church, and this starts at The Gathering's weekly Soup Kitchen (if you're just visiting from the A2Z Challenge you might want to click here for more about our weekly Soup Kitchen). I love how as a church we have got to know so many of our Soup Kitchen regulars by name, and I also love that they all know that The Gathering is a safe space for them where they will be treated with respect and dignity. In fact for many of them, time spent at out Soup Kitchen is the only time in the day or sometimes week that they will experience being treated respectfully. Respect is such an important aspect of life and it's so important that we respect people regardless of their station in life.

This post is part of a series in the Blogging From A To Z Challenge, April 2022.


  1. Yes that second picture does exude respect both for person and sport. I like how you emphasized the importance of respect in the game. I have heard a lot about soup kitchens! I feel you should regard any one and everyone with honor and respect irrespective of their status/profession . I Wish many follow that without spelling it out

    Dropping by from a to z "The Pensive"

  2. Not enough respect for others in our time. Respect keeps life from getting totally out of hand.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  3. Absolutely respect is an essential and so easily overlooked. Nice that some sports still emphasizes respect for fellow sportsmen.
    I know each person is blessed by your attention to their needs.
    The Russian

  4. Giving respect is a good thing but I do feel the recipient should earn it for the givers respect to be true and long lasting. Imho! Boxing is an unfamiliar sport for me. Wrestling as well. Maybe reading your AtoZ posts will give me a new perspective...

  5. "Respect is earnt", couldn't agree more! Some role models truly teach us the pure intricacies of respect.


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