Saturday, April 15, 2006

Love And Respect

"The way to procure insults is to submit to them: a man meets with no more respect than he exacts." ~ William Hazlitt

I am not only addicted to blogging. I am also addicted to online games. Particularly a game site called Pogo. That is probably an anagram or something. Play Our Games Online, perhaps. The singular advantage of Pogo is that in addition to a vast variety of different games one can play, there is the added benefit of live chat with other players all over the world.

I enjoy the sometimes witty, sometimes not so witty rapport between players in "game rooms". I have made many friends online through Pogo games. Occasionally, arguments develop between players.

Last night was just such a case. I was playing and chatting with a somewhat new friend, of whom I have begun to be quite fond. Then, two women who's user names I was unfamiliar with entered and begun to strike up a conversation. The discussion quickly degenerated into a first class donnybrook between me and the two newcomers.

They began to tease me to the point where I became angry. Then, I lashed back at them with my trademark rapier wit, and they soon left the room to escape my wrath.

But that wasn't the only negative. My new friend also left. Well, it was my fault. I overreacted and I shouldn't have. There were other, better ways to have resolved this situation without creating such hard feelings. The following is the e-mail I wrote to my friend in apology:

Dear ____,

I am the youngest of 5 brothers and sisters, all of them smarter then I am. I also was very small for my age up until my second year in high school, (I was actually the shortest kid in school throughout junior high) when I finally grew a few inches. Even then, There were only a few boys in school shorter than I. To give you an example, we graduates were lined up according to height, shortest first, for our high school graduation promenade, and I was the second boy to come into the auditorium. Being short is a very difficult burden for a young boy that already has self esteem issues from failure to live up to his siblings standards.

Consequently, I was constantly being abused by my peers. I was called names and picked on and humiliated and disrespect throughout my life. Even to this day, I cannot suffer being humiliated for very long before I lash out and lash back in anger.

Add to that my recent pain and humiliation suffered at the hands of my ex girlfriend. I was, and am still hurting. I was getting over it.

Respect, or lack of it, has always been a sore subject for me. I cannot remember a time in my life when I felt I was being respected for more than a few days maximum.

Last night, the old familiar demons came back to haunt me once again, in the person of two strangers, who seemed to think it was funny to humiliate me. It may have been funny to them.

To me, it was disrespectful.

I did the exact thing that I shouldn't have done. I attacked back.

I should have left. But my pride wouldn't allow me to do that. Leaving the room when I was, in my opinion, under ruthless attack was tantamount to tucking my tail between my legs and running.

To further put this in perspective, I consider the ministration of respect to be the most important compliment one can pay a person. More so even, than love.

I understand I was not respectful of our two friends last night, but under usual circumstances, I truly do look for any reason I can find in someone for which I can give respect. All people, in my opinion, deserve some respect, even if they are the most reprehensible human we've ever met.

I once was charged with training a new employee at a company I worked form as an assistant marketing manager.

This young man continually interrupted me in the 4-week training session, usually with asinine arguments to just about every point I made. For the entire time that I attempted to train him, I was convinced there was absolutely nothing to respect this young man for.

Then, because he had been evicted from his apartment, and because my boss strongly suggested that I let him stay with me until he could find a place of his own, I reluctantly allowed him to move in, temporarily.

The first night, after he unpacked his things, he produced an acoustic guitar, which he proceeded to sit down and play. The music was beautiful. I had found something about this horrible person that I could respect.

Eventually, it became my pleasure to fire him, because of his insolent attitude and his argumentative personality. But I learned a valuable lesson:

There is always something one can respect about anyone. Respect is the most important compliment one can pay to anyone. Even more important than love.

And if I can't have love, I at least demand respect.


Sheila said...

Mark My Friend,

Without knowing just how disrectful or insolent your aquaintences were being.

I will assume this. Your temper flared and it caused some very strong words and exclamations. It probably scared your friend away. It may have seemed pretty voletile on screen and made her wary of you.

If you guys haven't met yet, you may have to kiss this one TTFN.

Women nowadays are afraid of volitility in relationships. It can lead to very bad situations.

Sounds to me like you need to take one heck of a deep breath and look before you leap. You've been spontaneously combusting for a few weeks now.


Little Miss Chatterbox said...

You make some good points in this. I'm so sorry for your personal pain. I too was picked on when I was younger. I had a lot of healing from it in highschool and college otherwise I think it would affect me more today. Part of it was experiencing unconditional love from others and realizing that God did love me unconditionally even though that was hard to picture. But I must admit that occasionally that early picture of myself comes back to haunt me. Its a lifelong process.

I will be praying for you to be reminded of God's unconditional love, and that you are special and valuable to him. Hang in there :-).

Goat said...

I ask for neither though I offer both, respect and love, if it not reciprocol I move on with my life to leave them in the dust of their lack thereof. Respect is important though it should not come in the form of victimhood, it has to earned before it can be given beyond basic politeness. I do expect the chance to earn or possibly lose that respect, I don't expect it to be freely given to me, I want to honestly earn it. I cannot command it or whine for it if I don't offer it first as I am trying to teach an employee with an extreme case of short person smart-ass inferiority complexes. He recently started a fistfight in the shop with another foreman then started talking about respecting the guy he started the fight with, this is the same character that attacked me through my blog. I told him that he had a strange way of showing it and that he had no room to talk and called him "boy". He responded by insulting my character and then said don't call me boy, demanding respect by offering none, I am twice his age and experience. In response, we removed him from our jobsites and kicked him to admin to deal with, he has talent just no respect for elders and seniors of the trade which we have earned over many years of hard work.
There is little respect in the blogospere and less in the gaming world unless you are a real hotshot, so expect the arseholes and be prepared to ignore, delete or leave the site.