Saturday, August 8, 2009

About Respect

I am watching Flip This House right now, the San Antonio episode with Armando Montelongo and his wife Veronica. Armando is a hot-head, and he has no qualms against going off on his employees and cussing them out. I am always surprised that they don't quit and go work for someone who doesn't treat them like you know what. Yet they take the cussing and do the job.

Well on this episode, his wife Veronica is running a flip. The guys are playing games and disrespecting her. Because she's nice and she talks things out!!!! What is wrong with this world? Why can't you only earn respect by acting like a bitch or being a jerk? I don't get that at all.

Respect is something that everyone should get at least a minimum of, merely as human beings. We exist in the world together, we feel pain, we seek understanding. We share this fundamental commonality. I would think that we would afford others that respect that we want for ourselves.

There are deeper levels of respect. Some respect has to be earned. For instance, the respect for a person who knows what she or he is doing and is good at his/her job. At first, you might not know what a person is capable of. You can only go on what someone has told you about that person, or the credentials he/she has. You might have a few doubts, but you give that person the benefit of the doubt. And when he/she comes through, that's when the respect is earned.

You might also afford respect for a person because of the character she or he shows. You treat them as a human first and foremost, but then you treat them as someone that you truly 'respect' when they prove themselves to you.

So why is it that a person who is nice doesn't get respected? It's backwards to me that a person who is nasty and rude would get respect for it. Personally, I lose respect for people who treat others like crap, for manipulators, for those who think they are better than others, and show it. I have no respect for people who are complete liars and who don't know the first thing about honor or ethics. I don't respect people who are unnecessarily cruel to others. I certainly don't respect a person who takes advantage of other people, who pretends to be nice until he or she gets what they want. Or she or he might pretend to be nice until someone crosses them, and thetrue colors come out. That's bad behavior. Children get punished for bad behavior. Why should adults reap rewards for doing the same things that would get a kid in hot water? That I don't understand at all.

Yes, you can have a respect that comes out of fear because others know that you are crazy and you'll 'go there.' But that kind of respect is not long-lasting. It's just a momentary, fleeting thing. It's like being within striking distance of a cobra. You'll fear and respect it so long as you could get bitten and envenomated. But when you get away from it, you're more likely to say, 'Yuck. I can't stand cobras.' Unless you're a herpetology-minded person. Humans that are ruthless and cruel command a respect of fear. But deep down, there is resentment, and some may plot against them, hating them, and wanting to bring them down. Very few people actually care about them or think they are a good person and worthy of true regard. Not the kind of respect I want.

I want people to respect me because I am a person who is honorable, capable, thoughtful, that I have something to offer to this world. I don't care if everyone likes me, because you can like someone without respecting her or him. But if you respect people deep down, that is a much deeper, profound thing.