Matters of Respect

Posted Mon, 07/07/08

Most people have their own idea of respect – re: how they treat others, and how others treat them. Folks from a few generations ago were taught to "respect their elders" no matter the circumstances. I disagree with that premise because I've met one too many of the "older" set who use that as an excuse to mistreat or disrespect those around them. My own father is the worst example of this "self-entitled" behavior. He was a pathetic role model in the truest sense of the word, for the most part continually drunk, verbally abusive and selfish beyond measure without one ounce of integrity.

I treat everyone much the same on first meeting, whether they be a cashier at a grocery store or a doctor in his own office. Courtesy and general respect is the norm with me, unless people exhibit a latent disregard for the feelings of others or try to "lord it above" the rest. Then I come to the conclusion they don't deserve any respect themselves and should be treated accordingly, political correctness be damned. I don't care if they are young or old, or what their "station" in life is. Whether they are a President, priest, king, queen, military hero, highly-regarded philanthropist or what-have-you, if they treat people like garbage they deserve nothing less than the same.

I get an inward chuckle every time I run across a doctor who thinks he/she walks on water. My current doctor is not like that at all, thankfully, but I've met many in the past who think their patients should bow and scrape at their feet. It won't happen with me; in fact I tend to call these types by their first names rather than the courtesy title of "doctor" if they are jerks from the get-go. Doctors are people like the rest of us, and they have a job to do. It does not make them untouchable or worthy of any more respect than anyone else.

This is probably why I have a problem with "hero-worship." I cannot think of one person I have ever "worshipped" or adored beyond sensibility, including my ex-husbands. No one is worth such utter devotion to the exclusion of normalcy or one's own self-respect.

No one is that trustworthy, either.