Sunday, May 04, 2008

I consider myself a respectful person. I will hold the door for someone, I will chew with my mouth closed in public and I will say please and thank you. I will turn off my cell phone in the movie theatre and if a car is trying to change lanes in front of me I will let them through.

But those are just small random acts of kindness. They are minor annoyances at best. It is something ‘nice’. The dictionary would define this as ‘…to show regard or consideration for someone...”

But respect is more than that. It is accepting someone important to you, someone you respect. Again, the dictionary will define it as “…deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment…”

So basically I respect you so I will do this for you, or explain this to you. Or, you deserve to know why I did this. Or, I will or won’t do this because I respect you. Or, my favourite, I respect you so I will put up with your bullshit.

But doesn’t that all go out the window when it comes to what ‘you’ want? Where does respect for others come in when it is something you really ‘need’ to do? At what point do you sacrifice self-happiness for respect? At what point do you start thinking about yourself first?

Because in the end, doesn’t all come down to you? We only live once and we only live one life, our own. Don’t we ‘respect’ people simply because in the end it is self serving? You make people happy by respecting them, which in turn makes them like you, which then makes you happy. This is where we like to say “I have to respect myself too” which is another way of saying “fuck this, I’m thinking about me”.

My point is that you can’t rely on respect. Respect is important but it isn’t all powerful.

People in the end will think about themselves first, no matter what.

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