Respect Is Earned, Not Forced

It is not uncommon to have people in your life that you only give salutations to but you don’t actually have any conversations with those people. All you do is say your hellos, goodbyes, and nothing else. To me, that’s a sign that I don’t actually like the person but I’m supposed to like them for one reason or another. Just to clarify, not liking someone is not the same as disliking someone. That’s one of my pet peeves about language and communication. Anyway, I find that these salutation-relationships run rampant in family gatherings.

Even though I’m writing a bitch blog to bitch about salutations, I’m not against the salutations themselves. I’m against the blind reinforcement of them. Greeting people is important in the acknowledgement of their presence and existence. I don’t mean that in any philosophical life defining way, but you acknowledge someone exists simply by respecting their space and not walking through them. Greetings are important, but they don’t have to come in the form of “Hi uncle Philip”. A simple nod and even eye contact will suffice in most cases. The most retarded blind reinforcement of saying hello is when uncle Philip walks in and immediately talks very loudly with the other adults, removing the opportunity and NECESSITY of the salutations. Five minutes later, when the conversation dies down, a mother tells/reminds her child to say hi to uncle Philip. I hate seeing that happen because it’s so stupid. Just because you can’t carry on the high energy conversation doesn’t give you the right to divert awkwardness onto your child. Just because someone is forced to utter “hi” to someone, it’s not a form of respect at all. I get way more respect from people with only smiles and nods.

I’m actually a very respectable stranger for people I don’t know who sees me regularly. Once upon a time, I would be in the gym pretty much all day, so people started recognizing my face. I just quietly kept to myself, lifting all kinds of weights that most people can’t lift – benching huge stacks of weights and curling 55 lbs dumbbells every few minutes. I didn’t grunt or make other disgusting noises. I didn’t talk to anyone or make any new friends. I was just a respectable person who get nods and smiles from people. I’ve also been an A student who knows more shit than the teacher does. I was never cocky about any of it and never bothered anyone about it. I didn’t make a peep. I just kept it to myself. The teachers know it and they we nod respectfully when we pass each other in the halls. I’m not bragging here. I’m not saying that I’m universally respected nor that I’m strong nor that I’m an A student. These are just things that have happened. I’m no longer as strong as I used to be and I’ve gotten plenty of Bs and Cs. All I’m saying is, when I excelled, I was respected. When I was respected, I didn’t need people to say “hello” to me to recognize the respect.

…Those weren’t the best examples of respect I’ve gotten so now let me go into true bragging mode for some better examples. I can think of two good examples. The first example is from when I took an animation class in high school and I was simply far better than everyone else, there was no debate. Not only was I more adept at using the tools, I also put in way more hours into my work too. The course consisted of several projects where you create short movies using the tools that were taught in the previous lessons. The teacher had a system where at the end of the projects, everyone will go around and watch everyone else’s work so we can see what our peers were doing. At the end, there will be a vote to see who’s work is voted the best and the teacher will give that person 100% for the project. After the first two projects, the teacher bailed on the voting system because there was no point, there was no competition, I was easily the best every time. I kept a low profile and never bragged about it. When people got frustrated because they couldn’t get the program to do what they want, they asked for my help knowing that I can solve their problems, and I solved them all with ease. They get amazed every time. Nobody abused my help either. They all wanted to see the work I produce and they didn’t want to take time away from that.

The other time I got a profound amount of respect was in a high school fitness class. If you’re wondering what the fuck a fitness class is, it’s a class that consists of mostly running and weight lifting. I was the strongest person in this class. Stronger than the big 230 lbs basketball-playing black guy. I also continued to improve my strength more than anyone else. I wasn’t friends with anyone in the class, but I was very friendly and not intimidating. Without talking to anyone, I was friendly by voluntarily spotting people and doing a kickass job at that. In weight lifting, spotting is the act of making sure someone is safe when they’re lifting heavy weights and helping them out if they need help. I thought I’d clarify that in case anyone thought I was claiming to be good at staring at boys. I was a great spotter because I don’t stick my dick in people’s faces. Proper spotting techniques dictate dicks in faces. It’s really gay, there’s no way around it. Especially because it’s not necessary. I’ve never stuck my dick in anyone’s face and no one has ever gotten hurt under my watch. I’m a great spotter because I spot people the way I want to be spotted. They know they can trust my spotting so the last rep they attempt is a rep that they know they can’t finish. Crappy spotters will just yank up the weight when the person can’t finish the last rep. I don’t do that. I only help out as much as is needed so the person still feels a sense of accomplishment when the last rep is complete. I push them hard and encourage that last rep but if they don’t feel up to it, I respect that and don’t force it. One day, the teacher told us to pair up and create our own workout routine. I was surprised at how many people wanted to pair up with me. On another day, during an evaluation, the teacher stepped outside for a moment. Without teacher supervision, I re-attempted to lift a certain weight. I believe it was curling 120 lbs. It wasn’t a safety issue, but if I lifted it while the teacher was gone, it wouldn’t count towards my evaluation because the teacher didn’t see it and I wouldn’t be able to do it again because I’ve exhausted all my energy. I didn’t mind that it doesn’t count, I just wanted to try it. As I attempted it, some guy was telling the class that if I could do it, they should all vouch for me and everyone agreed. If it were something that actually mattered, it would’ve been a pretty touching moment. But I didn’t care whether the teacher would believe me and the miniscule effect it would have on my grade so I just remember it as a cool little moment of respect.

On a completely unrelated note, I wrote a response to a review with the term “Indubitably dubious” and I thought that was kind of funny.