A few topics & thoughts converged in my mind that led me to this:
Can you imagine what a refreshing existence it would be if there was a healthy increase of respect?
Like, if there was a conscious choice to operate from respect in lieu of knee-jerk or egotistical or self-satisfying behavior…
From the people blasting their music to people treating others disparately… what would change if we took a second to ask “what would Life be like if everyone did what I’m doing?”
It starts inside with self respect. And I don’t mean self indulgence, worship, or delusion where a person mistakes allowing or forgiving their less-than-productive behavior with having respect for their self.
I’m talking dignity, integrity, and awareness of the possible dichotomy between doing what you want and doing what’s good… because that’s the sort of discernment that can be used inside and out. Self respect turns into respect for others, which influences conscientiousness and the consideration given out in life.
You remember consideration… Thoughtfulness towards others.
In law school, we learned about connnnnsideration in a contractual sense. I wrote it like that because that’s how our professor said it when he taught us that consideration is anything given or promised or forborne by one party in exchange for the promise or undertaking of another.
And – this is how my brain works – the concept of the SOCIAL CONTRACT comes to mind.
It’s an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefit. Social Security is one example. The racists of the 60s giving up their ability to publicly discriminate against people of color is another example.
I don’t know about you, but I see very little discussion regarding what the “general good” truly is.
There’s plenty of talk about what groups think is wrong & sho to oppose. But there’s so little about the positive principles underlying it all, which is what people are truly concerned with. And a lot of it has to do with a lack of nuance, especially when it comes to the public sphere, personal rights, the private sphere, and accountability.
We’re people in this society who have individual rights surrounded by other people who also have their own bubble of rights… and we navigate around those bubbles. Some people want their bubbles to be bigger, but others don’t think they should. Others want to pop peoples’ bubbles, & they’re usually the ones who feel as if theirs are being popped when other people blow theirs up bigger or prohibited from popping the bubbles they want to pop.
Why don’t we talk about the objectively bubble-bursting AND bubble-expanding issues, ya dig? Like, instead of the misguided outrage about not forcing kids in public schools to pray in the Christian style, understanding that (1) they’re still allowed to pray, and (2) the real problem would be if ALL religious expression was banned outright.
We have protections against both:
- Being forced to participate in a religion. AS WELL AS
- Being denied the ability to form and/or express our own, individual beliefs.
You don’t need some government mandate that everyone pray if YOU, your-damn-self, want to pray. That’s the beauty of freedom. And freedom is the issue that should have been the focus of that discussion, but – as we’ve seen happen time and again – it was turned into something to generate angst and opposition.
When I was a college student TAKING A CONSTITUTIONAL STUDIES CLASS, I tried to explain this to some family & family-friends, thinking (erroneously) that it would help them be less upset about the issue. Lol… they accused me of being against Christianity.
Really, I’m on the side of constitutional rights and their equal application, of seeing issues clearly. And I don’t stand for them [Christians] or anybody being oppressed.
And it’s interesting that people from those groups don’t seem to return the favor. They seem so worried that they’re being taken from because they seek to take away from groups of which they don’t approve. Quite possibly the most baffling thing about them…
Same thing happens with guns – the underlying issues take a back seat to the specific, negative manifestation. Instead of taking the anger and pain caused by gun violence to seek a resolution to the causes OF gun violence, they try to minimize EVERYONE to fit their desired outcome.
And it’s so wrapped up in intention. The intention to protect people versus the intention to preserve the ability to be outwardly racist/bigoted… see how they both speak to one’s liberties, yet are treated so differently?
Time and again, we – as a society – miss the forest for the trees. Superficial differences distract from the fact that we belong to groups much more compelling and uniting than the categories, stories, and perspectives we’re fed en masse.
Imagine if we had the same larger goals, like choosing respect.