Why we should expect respect
We will never know how many lives we touch, shape or influence because life is not subject to measurement. Life is quiet committment. Much of what we we do, day in and day out, has value that is rarely measured or recognized, and it is all done, not because we want to achieve, but because we want to be the very best we can possibly be, no matter how we define "best". And our "best" is always good enough.
We are all pretty amazing and special, not because of what we have measured, but because we are somebody's mother, father, daughter, son, brother, sister, etc., etc., etc... And with respect to the people we touch and influence, that is never fully determined in this life. How many lives has that dedicated and humble teacher in the classroom shaped and influenced? Is that subject to measurement? What about writers who reach millions over the Internet? How have their words changed lives? What about those who are never published but nonetheless remain true to their craft. Are their undiscovered lives any less valuable than that of Hemingway or a Fitzerald? What about the police officer who showed kindness instead of a boot? How many lives has he or she changed? What about secret operations that save lives? Are the people behind them recognized or acknowledged? What about a compassionate psychotherapist who quietly saves lives? Is he less accomplished than a Freud or a Jung? Has Freud or Jung saved anybody's life?
There are no definitive answers to most questions and that is the point. Life is not to be measured. Life is for sharing without ego and anything more or less is pathology -inferiority or superiority complex.
Is it not better to get off our high horses and to join the living. For every two people who care about OUR achievements there are thousands who do not, and while that shouldn't bother us, it should place everything into perspective.
I'm keeping this short because I want no opposition. We have come to think that every proposition deserves one because the capacity for stupidity is vast and we therefore need to mature and to develop better ideas. In particular, if you have time to be petty you need to get a life -and don't waste your time trying to measure it. The bottom line is we should all expect respect and we need to ditch the view that it has to be earned. Remember the old saying, 'God doesn't make mistakes'. That's right, most things worth believing are not convenient or very easy to grasp.
Is this a productive psychology for the 21st century?
Next: Why we need to show respect to get it back.