Respect – It’s pointless if it’s free.

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I got called out on my respect issues from that last post.  I’d like to blame it on how I was raised, but that’s only partly true. It’s also society that makes me cling to this one-woman rebellion of respect.

  1. People who demand respect rarely deserve it. – When I got my first post-notfinishingcollege job, I worked temporarily with a company who’s owner insisted you call him by his first name.  He was a very kind man, and I liked him quite a lot.  My second job was at a real estate company, and I realized right away that it was going to be the epitome of old style snobbery and ridiculousness. I accidentally called the owner by his first name one day, though, and got written up for it. You heard right, boys and girls. WRITTEN UP! He was so insulted that a receptionist had NOT GIVEN HIM THE RESPECT HE DESERVED.  Really? That’s your big problem for today? That’s a mighty big first world chip you’ve got on your shoulder. Let’s just say I found him rather contemptible from that day forward and never failed to mention it. Luckily, I was younger. Now I’d take out a billboard about it…or…blog…it.  Anyway!
  2. Your money isn’t respect-worthy. It’s paper. – I have to admit a bit of awe of people that have a lot of money, because I can’t imagine having a checking account that I wasn’t always constantly checking to see if putting gas in my truck had made it go overdrawn.  That’s not really the same as respect, though. Having money isn’t the respectable part, it’s what you do with it once you get it, and how you treat the people around you.  I think one of the worst things in the world is to have a lot of resources and not use them to improve the world around you. Companies that take and take and take your money, then they won’t give to charities, especially in their high business areas…well..they make me sad and angry.
  3. Positions don’t earn you respect.  – Having a high position and not abusing your power or “power” earns  you respect. I remember seeing a local politician come into a business to return something at one point, and the woman at the counter pointed out that they hadn’t sold the product for over five years and they had a thirty day return policy.  The politician bowed up and said, “Don’t you know who I am?!” The woman at the counter said, “The person who didn’t follow the return policy?”

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there are a great many really good people who have money and/or position, but there are a lot of crappy people out there with the same things. If you treat them both the same, then what’s the point?  There should be some sort of difference made in them because otherwise, we’re just reinforcing bad behavior that we complain about when they get to Washi…I mean…   So, lesson for today, don’t treat your fellow man like crap no matter how little or how much money you have.

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3 responses »

  1. Money shouldn’t define someone one way or another. Just because you have a lot of money doesn’t give you license to treat people badly. We live in a world where the value of money comes above the value of people. It’s almost a sad world we live in these days.

  2. On the one hand, I completely agree with you. Respect should be earned. However, what some people call respect others call civility. I respect others right to think differently on any number of subjects.

    I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but I’m enjoying the philosophical discussion you’ve started inside my head.

    • Yay! I love making people think. I agree that people should get a certain amount of respect just simply for being human, but I think part of what I was going for was that all people are equal and some people believe that they should get respect beyond “being human”. I have a hard time giving people respect for being special unless they earn it. I just don’t believe that some people are better than others.

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