Is Respect, Disrespectful?

Is Respect equal to Indifference?

The reason for this title is because when I was very young I read “The Dialogues of Plato”, reading this book I saw how Socrates demonstrated to Plato a postulate that was very obvious to Plato and that Socrates said he did not know, but reasoning they could see that what was so clear, they turned it around and, after a deep reasoning, they found another reality, I would like to talk about Respect, but I can’t do it like Socrates because I am not at his level, but I do want to use his system, his method, his deep reasoning, about this word, I, to make a somewhat controversial headline, have called it “Is Respect Irresponsible or Disrespectful?” Everybody knows what Respect is, don’t they? Respect for one’s children, one’s wife, one’s husband, etc. etc. We could also be respectful of the environment, of plants, animals etc. but, in fact, to respect is to accept the opinion of another person in spite of whether we agree with it or not, because an example “grosso modo” of this respect can be political democracy, political respect makes democracy work, that is to say, respect makes this balance endure the society of the western world that we know, firstly I want to clarify, that for me Respect is a synonym, nothing more, of many things, what happens is that we misuse the word Respect, Respect can also be, “Obedience” and obedience to WHAT ?and here is its essence, to WHAT? and here is the immense, intense meaning that it has, people in this world where we live immersed between civilisations, cultures, subcultures, nations, regions, peoples, religions, politics, beliefs, postures, attitudes, in short, each person has a way of seeing life and the person next to them or on the other side, or the opposite side of the world, and here is this WHAT? about WHAT? well, that’s …. when we speak we use words that do not always mean the same as what we want to say, (Here it would go very well “The Numerical or Mathematical language”) unfortunately we use a word when we should use another, Respect is a way of seeing, experiencing, of convincing of a very strong conduct, that another person has, and that this one is fully convinced and without demonstrating that this conduct is correct, but the person has this convention, and with this behaviour in relation to another person who has or does not have the same convictions he calls it respect, for example we use respect to say that we have to behave well, we must not confuse respect, with for example a traffic law that respects the speed of traffic, or a law that you can agree with or not, but that you have to respect, because the authority says so, nothing happens if you go on a motorway where there is nobody, and there is a speed limit of 120 km/hour, and you go at 130 km/hour, and you go at 130 km/hour. Well, this respect is another, isn’t it? To always agree with the elderly, whether or not we agree with what they say, is respect, isn’t it? I don’t agree with this, I do agree with my respect, that if I am on the bus and there is an elderly person, I will give them my seat, so that this elderly person can rest, but although the word respect is used, it is not respect, it is a synonym that instead of respect it would be education or civility, we must be very careful with this word, read this reflection, because it is very interesting, see and understand, how the word respect is something else, from what we are used to, I make an analysis in my own way and say what I think, it is clear that what I think is correct, otherwise I would not write it, but I am aware that I am not necessarily right, so I would be very, very grateful if someone who does not agree with my theories, and in this way bring light to new and correct theories, it would be great … who does not respect what I write and rectifies me, to be on the right track again.

Well, let’s get to the heart of the matter, a father or mother loves their son very much, the boy, 21 years old, wants to leave school because he wants to go and live in India for a few years, the parents are well-to-do people and do not like the son to go on adventures because they want him to go to university and have a career so that he can have a good future for his son, should they respect his decision, or should they show their indifference as a person who does not know or love the son would? Or do they have to show their indifference as a person who does not know or love the son would do, a wife tells her husband that she has found a young man, and that she wants to separate, should the man respect the wife’s decision? or should he say very well, that he respects the decision and thus show an indifference, which, moreover, is impossible to show, because if this man loves his wife, the more esteem he has for her, the more difficult it will be for him, it is clear that there is an attitude which is to talk to those concerned and tell them to think about it and try to influence them, this makes the word respect weaken, because the word “respect equals indifference”, a man who loves his wife is not indifferent, and his feelings are clearly disturbed by the situation, he cannot respect his wife, the situation would be very different if the man no longer loved his wife, or had another woman, then he would respect this decision, some parents see that their son smokes and the boy is 15 years old, the father tells him that smoking is bad for his health and that he should not smoke but the son does not listen to the parents and continues smoking, here we have another example of respect, does the father have to respect his son?, Well, I think it will go proportionally to the degree to which the parents love their child, the more they love them the less respect, and if they do not love them, the more respect, although it is very difficult for parents not to love their child, with this example we could argue that the child is a minor, and that they should not smoke, but even if the child is 18 20 30 years old, it would be the same thing, when you love a person the most you want the best for them and if you see that what is bad or harmful for them, you will do everything you can to influence them to smoke, you will do everything you can to influence with them, that is to say, more respect less respect and vice versa, today this respect is accepted because you can’t do anything else, you can try to influence anything as you want and not as the other person wants, but you can influence as long as you are within the law, or the current jurisdiction, these situations are extreme but normally scenes of respect happen every day at home, on the bus, at work, with friends, in all our daily life, we are very used to this word and it really causes us to behave in a way that could be repressive, we constantly repress ourselves by talking about everything, for example football, we respect those who believe that Messi, or the other one, that is what makes Barça or those who are from Madrid work, we have our ideas, We have our ideas, which are very clear and are the best, we respect the others because they are nonsense and do not deserve to share our ideas, as we almost always have to argue with them to get them to jump on our bandwagon, now, however, we are tired and we respect everything they say, a very common example is what TV channel to watch when there are six in the family, who has to repress and show respect? These are small behaviours that happen every day, almost without us realising it, but it is a give and take of respect, one maintains a strong position or not towards respect, the truth is that when one has or believes to have a clear vision of a behaviour, concept, principle, political, religious idea, and I could mention many more, it is more difficult to respect the idea of the interlocutor that is different from ours, and this will be inversely proportional to the affective link with the interlocutor, if the link with the interlocutor is superficial, the respect will be total, if the link with the interlocutor is very strong, the Respect will be null, therefore, respect is equal to indifference, you cannot say to a person with whom you have very strong ties, that you do not approve of what this person does even if you respect his decision even if you know that the decision you respect will be the ruin of the person you love, this respect does not seem to be coherent, there are many moments when the word respect has a meaning and it is when we talk about football, politics, a thousand topics in society, we have the ideas we have, and we want everyone to think like us, because we are us, and what we think today is the dogmatic truth, although tomorrow we will have changed our criteria, because that’s how life is, this respect is what regulates society, because we can’t be arguing all the time from the moment we get out of bed until we go to sleep, so this respect that we call indifference, is automatically regulated according to whether the person is accepted, or is a family link, or a friendship or simply a “feeling”, respect is what regulates our daily life and we could also say that it regulates our democracy, and now I say to you, “you can respect me, if you agree with me”, of all that I am writing here, although it wouldn’t be respect, it would be agreement, but if you, you don’t agree with me, then you don’t have to respect me, then you can do two things either look at debating my argument or say nothing if you don’t do anything, you mean this, your indifference, because you don’t care about anything at all, and this reinforces my theory, and this reinforces my theory, that the opposite of respect is indifference, to me the respect that really interests me is when the bonds are strong, even if the laws that regulate it are the same as they are in both cases, in short, “the more respect, the more indifference”, and accepting this is not always easy, “the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference”.

Enric Giné

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