Monday, April 16, 2012
So, this came up in English today during a class discussion about respect:
"I met a guy once who was just soooo annoying, I couldn't stand him. He just wouldn't stop talking, and said really dumb things, and I had to sit by him for, like, two months. Well, the more I sat with him the more I learned about his home life, and I realized that he had it really rough at home. So I guess my respect for him grew. He's still super annoying, but I respect him now, so I think it's important for people to know what that person is going through to get why they're so annoying, so you can respect them."
The girl who said this had a really good point, but class was over before I could rebute it. It's not exactly fair to ask to know everyone's home life in order to respect them, now is it? You don't know what they're going through for a reason. I mean, how many people would go around with a giant Post-It note on their forehead screaming, "MY DAD EMOTIONALLY ABUSES ME" or "MY SISTER JUST COMMITTED SUICIDE"? For one, it's kind of a sore subject. Two, we don't want pity, or people saying they're sorry or that they understand-- which, more likely than not, they don't. But it's also like a weakness, a secret we have to keep. If people knew about it and wanted to hurt us, talking about it is probably the way to go. It's something that makes us look weak or pathetic-- or, at the very least, like we need someone to feel sorry for us. We don't. We're like the way we are because that's how we grew up, that's the way it is.
Respect. As far as I see it, you get 50% respect level. If you do bad, it lowers. If you do good, it raises. Everyone deserves some measure of respect, but they can't expect you to give it just because they're superior or older or whatever. At the same time, you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. Yeah, someone may be annoying, or they may talk all the time about the silliest little things-- but maybe that's because at home, they don't get to talk. Ever. And you don't have to know if that's true or not. You just have to give them the benefit of the doubt, because pushing them to admit something they want to keep a secret isn't fair.
SO. That's my two cents. Got an opinion? Feel free to hit me up! I'm all ears. :)