Does anybody know where I can go to earn some respect? Is it like Pac Man where have to eat a bunch of cherries & blinking circles & shit? Or is this just an option I can check off when I get hired to have some of my money diverted to respect? If I am disabled or laid off and not working is supplementary respect assistance available through the government?
I find that the most interesting thing about respect, is that we just expect folks to give it to us. When your cashier is having a bad day & is short with you, or someone on your block doesn’t pick it up after their dog drops a load in front of your steps, or your upstairs neighbor is blasting 3-6-mafia at 2am on a Wednesday & you have a meeting first thing in the morning, you feel unjustly disrespected. I suppose it could be argued that you earned (purchased?) the respect of the cashier by contributing to his paycheck with the money you spent at his store but what of your neighbors? Do you earn their respect just by living near them? do you have to own your home or can you be a renter? Do you have to know their names or have said hi to them?
Desiring respect without any effort on our parts isn’t interesting in itself of course. Most people want to be treated well by others. It is when others demand respect from us that it gets interesting because that’s when we pull out the “respect must be earned” argument. But as soon as people start marching around in the streets, penning articles, and making speeches demanding to be respected in spite of *enter oppressed status here* they need to earn our respect. How exactly do they go about doing that? What do our fellow humans have to do to earn the right to expect that people should treat them with the same decency and humanity that we treat the people who look, think, and communicate like us? What do people have to do for us to treat them the way we ourselves would like to be treated?