Unconditional Respect

The relations between people begins not with mutual advantage. Common benefit only goes so far. When the motivation for joint purpose expires, a scramble must transpire to sustain relationships built on a shaky foundation. Failure to do so can mean person-to-person conflict and tension.

You have probably heard the phrase, “Respect is not given, it is earned”. It is one of the most destructive phrases offered from a more gentile expression of a subtle Social Darwinist viewpoint. Not all of us know what love is or how to genuinely love others. Love is hard and can be a foreign concept. Respect, on the other hand, is universally understood. You should strive for love ultimately. When that is too hard to accept, respect should be the default. Respect should be unconditional.

Pope Francis spoke about the Charlie Hebdo situation. I agree with the statements. I frown upon the attacks that took place in Paris. I do not have a philosophy that calls people good or bad, only behavior. The behavior that was expressed, the judgement that led to those attacks are unworthy of high civility. Respect, the absence of it, is the root trigger in temporal terms.

Being polite, obeying the law, showing courtesy, not describing someone in a low way, and being honest in a clean way that is neither passive-aggressive or subversively hostile are some of the obligations of respect. You may be oppressed or you may be under external duress from the actions of third parties. Respect is what you have inside you that is contrary to a natural instinct that may incite you to respond destructively rather than constructively. Innocently, you may be itching hard to share a description of a person or ideas they revere in a radically different way. We cannot always know that we insulted someone, but when we do know that we might insult them, are we being constructive to the effort of civility?

Unconditional respect. A 21st century value to which we can persevere in exercising. Unconditional respect. That is to be how we are and who we are as a gateway to an internal life of dignity that exists well before any exterior criticisms we may face. You do not have to win every battle in life because the victory can be worse than the cause. You need only win the constant battle for nobility of character. You have nothing else to prove than unconditional respect is superior to conflict of malice.

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