I have noticed a lot of memes going around about how people have to “earn respect” by proving themselves worthy of it. Things like this meme:
This is a lumbering dumptruck load of self-satisfied bullshit. It’s like saying “I will treat you like a sub-human until you pass my moral obstacle course.” What kind of arrogant bastard thinks that way? How about instead you say “I will treat you with respect until you do something hurtful or otherwise prove that you’re not worthy of it.”
You don’t “earn respect.” You lose it. A person should treat everyone that they meet with respect and common decency. If the person proves that they don’t deserve it, then they lose it. To think otherwise assumes that people are bad until they prove themselves good. They assume guilty until proven innocent.
Truthfully, I give people several chances. We’re all human, and we all have bad days. Life isn’t easy, and everyone has their own struggle. I won’t let one bad day ruin them for me forever. Yes, I sometimes get burned. More often I find dear friends that I would’ve shut out if I forced them to earn respect.
The irony is that people that demand that you earn respect, often demand respect without earning it.
If a person demands that I jump through their hoops before they judge me worthy, but thinks that they are above such judgement, they lose the respect that I gave them to begin with.
If you find yourself doing this, ask yourself why? Have you been burned by people you respected in the past? Boo hoo, so has everyone. So have I. It doesn’t mean that my world view comes tumbling down. Don’t let your past affect your future.
Be brave, and risk that loss. Have a backbone, not a wishbone.
Every now and then I like to do a funny post with memes. Why? Because I think they’re neat-o 😉 I also (as you probably know by now) have an obsession with the Muppets.
I also think that memes are an effective way of getting a point across. People respond to them because they use both words and pictures, which connect to the mind in different ways. It’s similar to what I learned as a teacher, a concept called “differentiated instruction.” But I’m not going to talk about that today. Bring on Cookie Monster!
Note: I suspect that some of these came from Mitch Hedberg
I just saw a meme that said “never change who you are because other people have a problem with it.”
I’d like to amend that: Unless you’re an asshole. Stop being an asshole.
My friend posted the following on facebook the other day, and I think that it’s something that everyone should be aware of:
Thing I wish everyone magically understood from birth #9082904832: Every task has a potential depth of expertise, regardless of how simple it might seem. This means that: 1) someone who repeatedly does the task for any length of time will have gained at least some of that expertise, 2) they usually become increasingly efficient and skilled at carrying out that task over time, 3) they deserve to be compensated for their expertise, and 4) anyone who has not done that task for a length of time not only lacks expertise, but also lacks awareness of what they don’t know.
On Sunday I went to the Pride parade in NYC, what has become a yearly tradition for me. It runs right down 5th avenue, so you can imagine what it does to traffic. Then again, that’s what parades do.
I went with a bunch of friends, and we always set up in the same spot, right in front of Madison Square Park (no, it’s not by the stadium. Madison Square Garden used to be by the park, but they moved a few times. It’s now above Penn Station). We got there early so that we could be in the front row. As usual, it’s worth it.
Memories are an anchor. Possibilities are a wild wind, taking you to new and fantastic places.
But if you let the wind alone guide you, you’re bound to run aground.
Use the damn rudder.
What was once yours belongs to everyone. You bled on your canvas, or keyboard, or guitar. You took your guts and spread them for the world to see. You shared your soul.
It doesn’t belong to you anymore.
Yes, you’re still the creator, but the child belongs to the world. It’s yours, but not. Everyone that sees, or reads, or listens, will interpret it through their own eyes and experiences. Your vision is not theirs.
Don’t despair. It’s meant to be that way.
Let go of your creation. Let it thrive or shrivel. Let it be misunderstood, or let people find things within that you never saw. You brought it to life. Let it live.
It’s an honor to be in their heart.