R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Find out what it means to me, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Take care, TCB…
So, I was thinking about respect. We make that such a tenet of our construct here, and respect is one of our cornerstones.
Everybody wants respect. Sometimes, anyway.
Respect is not a lengthy list of specific rules and regulations centering on how you expect to be treated.
It’s a reflection of the way you feel about other people as demonstrated by your behavior towards them.
By the same token, honor is not an empty term to be dusted off as convenient then returned to the shelf when it comes to one’s own behavior.
I cannot control the actions of the general public, nor do I plan to try.
I cannot walk around with a rule book that I pass out before someone speaks to me so they are certain to afford me the respect I have decided I deserve tendered to me in precisely the way I want it, regardless of how far beyond the bounds of expected behavior those rules may be, even within our own community.
What I can do is treat others courteously and hope they afford me the same in return.
I can demonstrate what I think is appropriate behavior by my own example.
I don’t need to know whether someone is a submissive or a dominant, whether they are collared or free. They are human beings and as such deserve a certain level of courtesy and respect.
It’s amazing how true it is that one gets what one gives, and how effective it is to treat others as you would have them treat you.
I like people and I hope that shows in the way I interact with them.
I like dominants, I like submissives, I like switches.
I like men and women both.
I’m far from Mother Teresa; there are certainly those who try my patience or for whom I have a certain dislike or contempt.
However, I still try to treat those people in a courteous manner until such time as they demonstrate to me without question that they neither deserve that treatment nor intend to give me the same in return.
Doing otherwise lessens me.
Exhibiting courtesy is less about the person to whom you exhibit it and more about yourself and your own standards of behavior.
I find it interesting that those who seem obsessed with respect and honor are concerned exclusively with the actions of others, giving little thought or consideration to how they themselves behave.
I don’t believe I can require anyone to tender me respect if I don’t offer it to him or her in return.
If you don’t respect me, I can’t make you. If you don’t respect me, calling me “Ma’am,” or “Mistress,” or even “Your Highness” doesn’t confer it.
By the same token, waving a banner of honor while behaving in a manner that is in itself dishonorable seems to me a convenient means of avoiding responsibility for one’s own actions.
It’s not my place to decide what respect I deserve from others, or to demand it beyond a certain level of common courtesy that I expect from anyone, vanilla or D/s.
All I can do is behave in a manner that maintains my own respect for myself. Respect for others begins there. If I do that and you still treat me badly, then the fault and the error are yours, not mine.
My self-respect stems from my own sense of honor and ethics.
My own particular moral code would not be approved of by many.
My lifestyle choice alone would be equally condemned by many and would automatically make me immoral and/or dishonorable in their eyes. I am kinky, and poly, and have had homosexual relationships.
I am a virtual immorality trifecta.
And on that note, given that again, I have run long, I’m going to say goodnight. Look for the other half of this tomorrow.