No one loves the man whom he fears.

No one loves the man whom he fears.Aristotle

This might be OK if you’re the principal and get this reaction from a student after an ‘incident’, but if you’re the parent and you get this reaction, you might need to reassess your relationship.

What does that mean?
This quote goes way back in time. While this could apply to twisted love relationships, it can also apply to loyalty relationships, as well as leadership relationships.

It deals with the relationship between love and fear. Or more precisely, the way fear will crowd out love in a relationship. If you are in fear, it is really hard to even consider the feeling of love, as the fear in your heart pretty much precludes it.

What the quote says is that if there is fear in your heart, you cannot love someone, as there is no room left in your heart for it. Whether it be a family member, an abusive mate, or a leader (in politics, at work, or…), you cannot hold both fear and love in your heart at the same time.

Why is having respect important?  
Respect is what you have when you have love without fear. In this case, I’m excluding romantic love from the quote, as romantic love without fear is a slightly different creature, although there is respect in there as well (or at least I believe there should be).

Respect is also what you have within a family when there is love without fear. It is also what you have when you are with your friends and there is a bond of love between friends, without fear. I believe respect is also present in a relationship with a boss or a political leader, when there is love (in this case, more likely loyalty with affection than love) and a lack of fear.

None of those relationships would be worth much without the respect, which is based largely on a platonic love and a complete lack of fear. None of those relationships would last very long in the presence of fear, as fear would destroy the respect almost instantaneously.

Where can I apply this in my life?
Where in your life is there fear of another? What are the reasons for that fear? Have they ever directly or explicitly threatened you, either physically, verbally, or emotionally? If so, is there some reason you are still anywhere near that person, a reason why you haven’t left?

Today, in most societies, abuse by a boss at work isn’t accepted, and there are usually some manner of recourse available in those situations. If there is no way you can get help and stay in your job, is there any way you can find another job? Even if it you have to take a cut in pay or a lower position, I would weigh that against your fear, and the lack of it in your new position.

If the fear is in a family relationship, that’s bad news. Depending on the situation, you may or may not have a lot of options. You may or may not have any influence in getting the situation resolved. If you can, work with the family to try to help the individuals involved. As a final option, there is always removing yourself from the situation, and leaving.

Unlike a family, there is absolutely no reason to stay with a group of friends, or in a love relationship, if there is fear instead of respect. I believe in giving people second chances, but at some point you have to determine what is best for you, and decide when it is time to sever those bonds and move on.

Where in your life do you think you might induce fear in others? While I don’t think this is something that I do much of anymore, I can be a bit imposing, given my size. However, at one point in time, my kids were had a fair bit of fear of me. I have grown a lot in the last decade, as have the kids. I shudder when I think of where our relationships might be if their hearts were full of fear instead of love.

Are there any people who fear you? Now if you are a police officer, that kind of goes with the territory, but for the rest of us, it’s probably not the best place to be, is it? I would ask you to note that this isn’t just fear of physical violence, but also fear of being verbally abused or berated, belittled or otherwise treated poorly.

How will you change this situation? How will you “tone it down” so that you don’t induce such fear, and can start to make the transition to respect? If you are a boss, you still need to be tough, and enforce rules and standards , but you don’t need to be feared to do that. You can do that while still being respected.

Fear is a powerful motivator. However, it has no place in any relationship claiming to be based on love or respect.

From: Twitter, @philo_quotes
confirmed at : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/a/aristotle379605.html
Photo by joseph.antoniello

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One Response to No one loves the man whom he fears.

  1. Sarat Waikhom 5 August 2012 at 5:26 am #

    I share the same ideas. It is quite unfortunate though that there are still many who believe fear and respect are synonyms.

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