Disagreement is one thing; disrespect is quite another.
When I look at a person, I see a person – not a rank, not a class, not a title. If life has taught me anything it’s that when you hear “with all due respect”, somebody’s about to get disrespected. Some people console themselves by telling themselves that at least their lover or spouse does not disrespect them enough to cheat on them openly. You deserve respect and appreciation. A person who doesn’t have respect for themselves will more than likely not give it to you. You have to set the standard for yourself by not allowing the insolence. I never tolerate disrespect or betrayal. Disrespect adheres to the ignorant; like wet leaves, breathed, on cold skin. If you threw your shoe to someone’s head, you spread your own stench.
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. A man who goes into a restaurant and blatantly disrespects the servers shows a strong discontent with his own being. Deep down he knows that restaurant service is the closest thing he will ever experience to being served like a king. The eye of true equality often seems to have some degree of disrespect for the supposedly accomplished, privileged high and lofty to the supposedly accomplished, privileged high and lofty, although in reality, it’s simply irrespectiveness.
Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare. Intelligence arouses fear and respect, the lack of it keeps one on the narrow minded road of disrespect, stupidity and inferiority complex. Playing victim to situations you can walk away from is disrespectful to people who face positions where they can’t.
The characteristics of healthy boundaries include self-respect; non-tolerance of abuse or disrespect; responsibility for exploring and nurturing personal potential; two-way communication of wants, needs, and feelings; expectations of reciprocity; and sharing responsibility and power. Self respect by definition is a confidence and pride in knowing that your behavior is both honorable and dignified. Therefore when you harass or vilify another person, you not only disrespect them, but you also. Respect yourself by respecting others. Where true dignity and real freedom are undermined, real self least exists. Treat people like people. Beware of pity and patronization because in them, you can’t see when you’re unashamedly looking down on someone. When people don’t respect one another seldom is there honesty.
If we don’t counter the onslaught of the insidious triviality of transgression in our daily environment and if we gradually lose grip on the pervading taint of apathy and disrespect, we need irrevocably restructure our thinking and adjust the mechanism of our action. Taking everything for granted and accepting anything uncontested, might generate dis-junction, arouse extreme heartbreak and, finally, turn our living into a scourge. Sometimes it’s not always straightforward, but it’s not always confusing either. You just have to respect a person’s decisions without disrespecting them. A question I have often asked is, ‘What would an inoffensive political cartoon look like?’ What would a respectful cartoon look like? The form requires disrespect and so if we are going to have in the world things like cartoons and satire, we just have to accept it as part of the price of freedom. Those who make hostility a daily manner are often left in the lurch at difficult times.
No disrespect’ is a world away from respect and admiration.