the Basica

  What being liked by others and self-esteem have in common is that they have no meaning without respect. If others like you but have no respect for you, their liking is shallow and empty. By the same token, if you hold yourself in high regard without respecting yourself, your esteem rings hollow.

  On the other hand, where respect has been secured, the need to be liked is no longer desperate. Where liking is absent but respect present, better treatment tends to result than in the reverse situation. Where liking develops out of respect, the esteem is of greater depth and substance. Where liking that formerly existed has fallen away somehow, its presence may sometimes be restored by a sense of setting things right with regard to some matter of respect.

  Respect is not fear. If others fear you enough, you may be able to make some of them bend to at least some of your wishes or get out of your way some of the time; but you only breed resentment. Any respect that could genuinely have been there is destroyed by a desire to escape, annihilate, or use you. While there are times when fear and respect can co-exist, as when one both respects and fears some dangerous aspect of nature, fear is not a required component of respect. Where risk is neither inherent in a situation nor artificially created for the purpose of intimidation and control, respect breeds trust.

  Respect is not awe, though they, too, can co-exist. You need not make an impressive showing to gain respect. Some of the most simple things can earn it. Awe and fear are also not the same, as powerful - and sometimes frightening - as a sense of awe can be.

  Respect, both given and received, is the foundation of dignity, honor, love, true cooperation, and genuine enjoyment of ourselves and each other. Without that foundation, everything we do, say, think, and feel is no more than a self-important game masquerading as life. We can only acknowledge our true humanity through respect. We can only make our existence mean more than strutting down a road of delusional detour by way of respect.

Back to:
Articles Set 1
Alphabetical List of All Articles

Click on the envelope to go to the Mailbox, where you can read or send e-mail.

Wayshelter E-Mail

All contents

The Wayshelter

Copyright Dates

unless otherwise noted.

Back to the Introductory Page
Click to return to the main page of

The Wayshelter