So, the issue was respect. I had said that I realized that not everyone would approve of me or my choices, past and present.
I said I was, in fact, “a virtual immorality trifecta.”
I did like that turn of phrase.
So, I can’t control someone’s opinion of me. All I can do is decide for myself what is right and wrong and behave accordingly. The opinion anyone else holds of me is irrelevant.
What is relevant is my opinion of myself. I have to look myself in the eyes every night, and wake up to myself every morning. I know all my worst qualities, the pettiness and unkindness that lives there, as it does with anyone.
You know that part of yourself you don’t like to admit to. I’m reminded of Scrooge’s explanation of Marley’s ghost: “You may be an undigested bit of beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of an underdone potato. There’s more of gravy than of grave about you, whatever you are!”
So, anyway, we all have our demons and one of the things that is different for us, I think, is we are more likely to invite our demons and dark passengers to the party.
We know we want to play in the blood, we just find ways to make it happen, within certain parameters.
One of the things that I have always believed about this lifestyle is that it is a proving ground for one’s personality.
As a dominant, I can have enormous power over others.
There are those who would gladly accept abuse from me, would beg me for things I could not give, at least not while maintaining my self-respect.
We should judge ourselves by how we treat those whom we may treat any way we choose.
Do we take advantage of those who are weaker, simply because we can?
Do we mistreat those who want to be mistreated? Not those who want to submit, not those who are masochists, but those who, because of some belief that they deserve no better, want to be mistreated, damaged or injured?
Do we allow power to corrupt us, allow egotism to blind us to our faults?
I believe a good dominant walks a tightrope constantly, balancing what they can do against what they should do.
If you do not constantly and unblinkingly assess your own motives and actions, if you do not put the well-being of those who entrust themselves to you over your own preferences and pleasures, if you do not rise above the potential corruption of power, you don’t deserve the title of Master.
You deserve even less to have artificial acts of respect accorded to you.
Honor is not something that applies to others but not to ourselves.
It is more than a concept to be claimed by your words and belied by your actions.
Honor is not doing something simply because it would be wrong.
It is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
Respect isn’t lists of rules and demands.
It isn’t something only dominants deserve or only submissives should offer.
The state of being a living, breathing creature alone earns you a certain level of respect. Being alive is a miracle of nature, a gift of divinity, however you define that term. That touch of the divine alone earns you the simple dignity of basic respect.
Above and beyond that, respect is earned and we would all be better served by concentrating more on the respect we give and less on the respect we believe we are owed.