The ideology of respect has been distorted massively. It’s something that people have decided is a necessitity rather than something that is earned. Many people live by the phrase of “respect me and I will respect you,” but it’s become clear that even then, it’s seems almost impossible for a fraction of consideration to be given out.
When I think of respect, I think of a kindness towards others, a consideration and a sprinkle of care. Because the truth is, to show respect, you have to be amiable. There needs to be a sense of politeness for someone to want to respect you. It’s ignorant to walk into a situation acting boystrous, rude and unthoughtful whilst demanding the respect of others. If someone walks up and kicks you in the ribs while you sleep, are you really going to show them respect? Did they show you any respect? Of course not.
Today, on my way to university I saw something that genuinely made me lose a bit more faith in humanity. Sometimes, I’ll come across something that will restore that, but today was one of the days where it descended rather than climbed. At 9:55a.m. outside of the train station, a police officer decided to ‘move’ a homeless man that slept outside under the shelter. There was many of ways to go around this, but instead, the police officer decided to kick his toes into this homeless mans ribs and tell him to “move along” because he was a “dirty bum.” Being awoken in such a manner caused this homeless man to wake up quickly and jump to his feet, and then proceeding to pick up all of his stuff, the police officer decided to taunt him some more by saying he “shouldn’t be sleeping here.” Now, this man, who has no bed to call his own, has found a place with shelter right next to road where he probably didn’t sleep. In retaliation to the officers taunts, (we’ve all woken up on the wrong side of the bed and been a little moody) the homeless man says “piss off, mate,” and here is where this warrior of the law decides that even though he has just kicked a man awake, taunted and degraded him, needs to be respected. Now, some people may say “that’s a police officer, you’ve got to respect him!” but no. You do not have to respect anyone that shows such a disgusting and intolerant attitude towards you. Furthermore, you have no right to even preach about respect after treating someone like a stray dog picking up scraps. It’s inhumane.- and it’s even more disgraceful that even when this entire situation was moved on and over with, the officer decided to walk back and have a laugh with his officer mates. Excuse me, did you not just see what you did?
You’ll often find that those who lack the skills of consideration are the ones that demand respect the most, and it’s very unfair. You shouldn’t be forced to respect someone because they have a ‘better’ place in society than yourself. Because the truth is, no one’s life is more precious than your own. No living, breathing human with a beating heart should be treated with such disregard. It doesn’t take much to feel empathy for those around you, and maybe it’s time for people to become a little more educated on emotions rather than social structure.