by Jake Block
Find out what it means to me”
— Respect (Aretha Franklin)
I don’t demand respect. I expect it in dealing with people to whom I give it. Those who give it to me in return find that I can be accommodating and helpful when they need it, without having to ask. With most people I deal from a set-point of civility. We might not be friends and we don’t really even have to like each other, so long as there is an atmosphere of civility when working together or dealing with one another on a day-to-day basis. I don’t demand respect, but if you can’t deal with me civilly, you’ll soon learn to respect my boundaries.
Most people deal from a set point that they deserve your respect simply because they breathe the same air that you do when in close proximity. That said, they’ll most often pay lip service to the old axiom that “respect is earned.” Proof being in the pudding, you might get awfully hungry before most people earn your respect, as they’re most often too consumed in “getting theirs” to put themselves out for others. But yes, you can count on their ire if you don’t show them the respect they feel is their due from day one.
Then there are those who’ll receive your largesse with a nod, as if somehow they should expect your patronage as a given. They’ll take your gifts of time and wisdom and occasional goods with a left-handed compliment, if they say anything at all. It’s the nature of such pronouncements that they can be taken in two ways, either as a genuine compliment or as a veiled insult, and you will never really know how to take it until one day, when they’re dissatisfied with things, they’ll snap at you when your help with a situation isn’t in alignment with their expectations.
There are people who will live with this kind of person in their life and with each sleight, find some reason to forgive and forget, continuing their support for this person that gives nothing in return, but always seems to need more and more to survive. I am not such a person. If I give my support for a person, respecting them enough to give them my time and advice, when it’s asked for, you can bet your bottom dollar that when they show me that my efforts are not appreciated, and their lack of respect is evident, I exercise my right and my responsibility to myself and cut them off.
I don’t demand respect. But I do expect to be treated with the same level of civility that I treat another, The satanic adaptation of what most people think of as the “golden rule” applies. Do unto others AS the do unto you. Or, alternatively expressed, “Respect me. I respect you. Disrespect me, fuck you.”
The Orders of The Sect of the Horned God