My previous boss, after a short while of being my boss, made it very clear, very rudely, that he thought young people do not deserve basic respect, nor for that matter did anyone, who did not impress him in the correct way.
That way, was to bow, long and low, to him. And looking around, it seems to be the expected entitlement of those in power to demand it. He thought respect was the right of those with power.
I, do not believe this. I believe that all living things deserve respect. And a creatures worth is not for others to decide.
So, as the man had no consideration for anything beneath him, he never gained the odd mixture of admiration and fear from me that he so desired. I do not worship power, I am not in awe of it, I do not want control over people. He asked me one day, meaning to hurt and bring me low, what my friends thought of the kind of person I am. What would they say about me?
I told him simply they would say I am loyal, honest, unbiased, and that I have a strong sense of justice. I know these things as they have said as much to me before. He said that was ‘interesting’… he struggled… I guess none of those things made sense to him.
This man did not learn that coin and fear do not gain you respect… coin and fear gain you people who do more or less what they are told when they are faced with you, and then laugh about you behind your back and resent you. All of the staff I have known there left for one simple reason alone, they were not respected as human beings.
Whilst this man buys the platitudes of his ‘lessers’ and has the lip service of those he gives coin to, they yet give their admiration to the coin alone.
He then makes an altar to himself, of things he has bought. But this is not even self respect, this is externalising your own worth and pinning it on the gleam of wealth, saying that this thing that is not you, is what makes you great.
I have no stacks of coin, no people who fear me. No underlings. But I the mutual respect of equals. I have friends would would fight to their deaths beside me, who I would fight to the death beside… love and loyalty
And I have gained self respect, by giving basic respect to others. And I had to ask no one for permission to have it. Had to pay no one any coin to get it. It was not bought or threatened and it cannot be taken away.
He has a flatscreen T.V.
Who has ended up the richer?