Saturday, September 10, 2016


Respect is earned. I know that I'm not a great person, who's in a position to puff out my chest and sneer and say this with an air of authority: "respect is earned", as if I have earned it and know what it means.

I also understand my parent's fears, that being disrespectful can cause a lot of trouble - for myself.

Finally, I don't have a code, or at least I haven't defined it, that allows me to say with surety in any situation what is right or wrong. What do I judge a person by, which is the first step to the root of the question: what do I judge myself by? I only have piecemeal words: by compassion. Honesty. Truth. Insight. Maybe the reason I was so affected is that you did not deal honestly, you made a smooth non-offensive performance that had wisps of insincerity. But it was driven by a desire to smooth ruffled feelings, to make events glide without a glitch. My only objection was that you lied, and so I felt that your smoothness was condescension. And that I dislike.

I am starting to understand that unless I live by my own code, well-formed, I have no right to give judgement on others. If I do not have convictions which I live by, I have no right to criticize others for how they live their lives. That would simply make me an empty headed, inconsistent complainer.

Right now, I simply feel that you were insincere. I deserved what I got from my incompetence. I do not resent the consequences of that. But condescension is not kindness, and it is far worse than disappointment. Deal with me fairly. Make me cry if you must.

My parents tell me that I should divorce the human from the post; that I should be able to respect the power of a position higher than mine, even if the person is dogcrap. I know this will get me in heap loads of trouble in the future, but I will have to trust to my diplomatic skills to steer me through. All I know is that a post is nothing without the person. I will not respect someone for his post, I can only respect him for his character. I can obey a rank, I can even do it pleasantly. But respect - my respect - reflects on my dignity.

As I said at the start, I'm not a great person. But every person has dignity, and just like the consciousness of breath, it cannot be taken away. For now, I will settle my disquiet at being told something I did not think my parents would believe in; for now I will accept that in the future I may become jaded or see a different truth than I see now; for now I will try to fully delineate the morals I live by and why some things unsettle me so much. It is easy. For anyone. Like they tend to tell us: we already know the answer.

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