How does saving people work? And if you can save people from themselves isn’t that tyranny?
I feel respect is a very confusing thing. Mostly, when people tell you to be respectful, it’s usually advocating a sanctimonious attitude toward the social consensus. It doesn’t even begin to scratch the substance of personal responsibility. Respect … or else. This “or else” attitude seems to breed a lot of passive aggressive contempt in the larger part.
I often ask, “Or else what?” They don’t have good answers. Oh true, they don’t have good answers, because they know the “or what” is petty. An example of sanctimonious attitude would be blind patriotism. We hear a lot of that stuff on TV news shows in the States. Putting yourself higher then another. Sort of a petty piety, clinging to a value for the sake of it making you feel special. It doesn’t have to be religious though in the literal sense it always is. For some, patriotism is a religion, and they believe it more powerfully than they believe in the spirituality.
Some forms of respect seem like enabling patronizing. Exactly and patronizing isn’t real respect, it’s contempt. I don’t believe respect is bad, but I do believe it’s poorly understood. The practices as we are generally taught, and we are told are “respect”, are bad. This is just my belief, but I will illustrate why. If you say you respect me, what are you saying?
- That I will treat you with decency. That statement is close to what I would call real respect.
To say I respect you in the conventional sense is to a degree to set you apart from me. It can be isolating an individual. That statement is the common “respect”.
- Where you’ve set your boundaries, where I can see them, I will not cross. Why do we respect boundaries? Rather than say respecting autonomy?
- People have different boundaries. Oh yes, and often they have given little consideration to their boundaries. Their sphere of concern far outstrips their sphere of influence, and this is where responsibility comes in. Are peoples boundaries always for the greater good? Even for their own good?
I would say we are truly respecting someone when we are respecting their spirit, which does often go beyond their awareness.
It seems like the intent is important, whether someone feels respect for another based on merit rather than on authority or position. You’ve raised a good point. Authority and position are empty. We all see that. We may bend a knee to it if we respect the institution, but authority often betrays its own institutions. How does authority betray its own institution? Placing its function over the institutions vision.
The Chinese term “Te” roughly translates to virtue, but also means nature and function and is a reference to how something behaves. I feel true respect is seeing the Te and giving place to it, and seeing the Te isn’t really compatible with seeing the way of the ego “self.”
Ah, the common notion of respect is all about respecting the ego? Yes, and it is very negative. Respecting animals is usually very easy. If I come across a snake, I respect its way and its potential behaviours. It has no ego, only its way.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.