The wise have one foot in insanity, and the sane have one foot in the grave.
You can see a political leader, or wealthy person, and not respect them when you see what is really there, even though convention in society is to respect this person. Is there virtue in being exhorted to extol an unhealthy parasitical relationship with authority? Extol/respect, venerate. People worship money and the money maker, and don’t see the Te. What are we usually told we must respect?
Authority. And this authority is based on the “golden rule” is it not? As in those who have the gold make the rules? Te is the natural way a thing is. It’s substance. Te is equated with a concept called p’u or the uncarved block. As much as we would like to hide it, all of life has an “uncarved block” level. A level where everything is very stable and everything is in harmony with the Tao. Everything is working. Does respect work? Respect as we are taught it I mean? Respect as we are taught it is if I say blah, you say blah, because you are repeating after me. You are “following” me. If you do this do you actually respect me? Do you respect yourself even?
No, I likely feel resentment. This is how the pressure cooker works with teenagers and workers. Having to do the “respect” thing like that leads to a build up of stress until a breakdown happens. Responsibility or response ability is what I feel is necessary for real healthy respect. In the positive case, if I say blah you say “what?” and have an opportunity to see where I really am and what I’m really saying. You can respect “Self” instead of “self.”
So questioning things is good, even your boss? Yes, though question from your own Te. In the case of a boss, question from the commitment to do the work you promised to do, and not for superfluous reasons.
At work they have instituted a policy in which our supervisors rate us on our ethics, and yet the boss who wrote the policy does unethical things routinely. A serious disconnect. In the negative, respect doesn’t do this and conventional respect is easy. It puts people out of the sphere of our responsibility, nor do you have any motivation to be responsive to the substance of your relationship which is much more than their self image or ego.
Overlooking the exterior, and finding the core that is worthy of respect… how do you do that? Ever notice that people seem to have two selves? They have “their way” that they are always talking about, that’s one self, and they have their “Way” which they are always doing. They say their way that they talk about is how they are, and they can’t help it. They can’t help their way of prejudice, because it isn’t real. It isn’t anything to work with. They could help their way of being/acting, but they don’t see it. They are much too busy thinking about getting “their way.”
In Hawaiian tongue they use a term called mana. It’s a word for spirit and merit both. It is a very holistic way to look at people, and I mean merit in the Taoist sense. The “uncarved block”. The rock is a very worthy rock.
Like potential? Both potential and essence. Things grow from their essence, and decay when they aren’t seen for this essence. Stagnate. The Hawaiian people, at least in their original culture, are amazing nurturers.
In a lot of ways, the concept of respect seems like a binding. Another tool to control the masses. It is not the respect I know. Am I not speaking to the inner respect you know? Living in the true spirit of namaste.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.