R E S P E C T – Find out what it means to me

Over the past twenty years or so, I’ve noticed the word and concept of Respect has changed. While this next statement is purely non-PC, too fuckin’ bad. The poor, minorities and our prison population have all made the concept of respect something they feel is worth killing for. It’s time someone cleared up the meaning of the word, Respect.

Respect isn’t like money in Monopoly. You don’t start out with 100 Respect points. That needs to be established here and now. You EARN respect. Respect given is not respect.

When someone says, “You disrespected me”, most of the time, they have things confused. Now, for you prisoners and those on the lower scale of the population – LISTEN UP! When I meet you for the first time, I might be polite. In fact, as long as I’ve no reason not to, I will be polite. Every person I meet, again, unless I have prior reason not to feel differently, deserves politeness. That shouldn’t be confused with RESPECT. I don’t respect you simply because you exist. I do treat people politely because I have a modicum of intelligence and good manners. I also wish to be treated politely.

Some of our population has confused politeness with respect. I just cleared that up for you. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

Some folks believe, again, wrongly, that certain people deserve respect. Politicians. Celebrities. Soldiers. Policemen. Wrong. You might show deference, like a dog shows to the pack leader. You may show politeness, as one would a guest. You may show fear, as one would show to an armed intruder. Those aren’t respect.

The simpler people of our society have lumped all those together and called it respect.

Respect is a feeling, not an action. I might know of you, your work or your actions and have admiration for those. I admire soldiers, most anyway. I admire the accomplishments of those people who have done or given back to society. Admiration is not respect.

Respect is based on feeling someone has done something worthy. It could be the father who works long hours to provide for his family. It might be the mother who gets up, even when sick, to comfort a child or praise them for their grades. Parents can come to respect their children as they grow into adults. One might admire and respect his boss. It’s something that comes with knowing someone and his actions. Respect is something earned. It takes time to earn respect.

You hear about prisoners attacking fellow inmates because he ‘disrespected’ the first. You might show disrespect, but you can’t disrespect someone. It’s not an action. You see in popular movies where the word respect is used in place of other, more meaningful words. Usually among the least educated or more ‘streetwise’ of the people. I take offense to this.


If I work my whole life and actually work hard (I feel most people only work to get paid and as such, do only what’s needed to get what they want out of a job. Which usually means they do very little and do it very poorly), I should have earned respect from my peers. It should be a feeling of accomplishment. Something arrived at – not something given as a starting place, like a hardhat or a set of overalls. These people who use respect in the common way degrade the word. I’m sorry, just because you’re a lifetime inmate and you kill people – you don’t get respect. You might get fear, but no respect.

The blacks and latinos in particular, again, apologies for my lack of PC here, but they seem to think they get respect like they got hair at birth. You meet them for the first time, you better have respect. For what? FOR WHAT? So, folks, if respect isn’t earned, what do you call that feeling that is earned?

Oh! We might have a reason why these folks confuse respect with those other words. They don’t plan to earn a damn thing! Oh ho! Since they don’t plan on working hard or creating anything or providing a real home to their families, they want respect right out of the gate! I think I’ve stumbled onto something here. Like so much else in these ‘entitled’ lives, they think that they are entitled to receive respect as part of a birthright.

Most of our nations lower folk seem to think that they were guaranteed not the ability to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, which implies those are things to be achieved, worked for. But rather, they are guaranteed life, liberty, happiness and respect. Their belief is that these things are given to them along with birth. They don’t seem, like far too many of our citizens, to realize it’s their work that guarantees them these things. Our society has separated us and them (meaning government and people) so much that the people seem to think that the government exists to support them.

I’m getting a bit off track. I want to reset the mindset of our less fortunate folk. YOU DON’T GET RESPECT LIKE FOODSTAMPS. You earn it. You earn it by hard work, by going above and beyond. Getting a C in school is not earning respect. Working just enough to keep your job is not earning respect. Committing a crime and going to jail does not earn you respect. Being born DOES NOT EARN you respect! You can’t FORCE someone to respect you. And if they aren’t polite to you, for whatever reason, they haven’t DISRESPECTED you.

Do you get it now? I used small words. This really is a small idea.


~ by Mad Prophet on December 24, 2011.

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