cut one’s eyeteeth To gain knowledge or understanding; to become sophisticated or experienced in the ways of the world; also to have one’s eyeteeth meaning ‘to be worldly-wise or aware.’ This expression, which dates from the early 1700s, derives from the fact that the eyeteeth are cut late, usually at about the age of twelve. The implication then is that a person who has already cut his eyeteeth has reached the age of discretion. A similar phrase with the same meaning is to cut one’s wisdom teeth . Wisdom teeth are cut even later than eyeteeth, usually between the ages of seventeen and twenty-five.
Thus the presence of respect can help transform conflicts, by providing opportunities that did not exist before. At the same time, the absence of respect can lead to conflict. What makes men like Bill Richardson and John Kamm succeed in negotiations and dialogue where many other fail, especially in their dealings with cultures other than our own? What makes them different from others? Both cite respect to be their main secret. Recognize respect to be a basic human right , treat individuals and states with dignity, and you will receive a more sustainable response. The relationships so established will be based on mutual trust and respect, and hence is likely to last. In contrast, if you browbeat your enemies (or both sides if you are the mediator) then even though the goal may be attained, the relationship will be resentful, and backlash , more than stable peace is the more likely outcome.