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Does Mutual Respect Motivate and Sustain Us?

Bishop Myriel, in Les Miserables, wants Jean Valjean to know that even a convict is capable of getting, and giving, respect. He orders the best silver to be used during dinner with Valjean.

What is the Bishop trying to convey, to Jean Valjean, when he orders that all the silver should be used at the dinner table?   

Does the Bishop’s respect of Valjean matter? Why, or why not?

What does respect mean to you?

Does respect, for one another, matter in the 21st century? Why, or why not?

If society, at large, expects a person to fail—even if such an individual tries hard to succeed—is it more likely that he/she will succeed or fail? Why?

Is expecting someone to fail a sign of disrespect? Explain your answer.


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