Monday, May 26, 2014

Demand Respect to Show Respect for Yourself - Why I still Avoid the Indy 500

Maintaining and properly balancing familial relationships is built upon respect. Whether it be conflict between spouses or those similarly situated, or within the parent-child relationships I have observed an underlying connection. What I have observed is a lack of respect. While the outward signs may be one individual displaying lack of respect for another I contend that this symptom is a result of the precursor being lack of respect for one's self.

Nowhere do I see this more than in the parent-child relationships involving our current youth. Those parents who vociferously bemoan the terse treatment of them by their children, I believe, have induced the relaxation of respect shown to parents. It is the parents though that are not respecting themselves by demanding respect. It is not the lack of authoritarian demands on children like those exercised by previous generations that compelled obedience through fear but, rather, it is parents' failure to demand respect in their daily interactions. The parent who complains ad nausea about employment conditions, other interpersonal relations, the failures of a service provider, or being slighted in social situations but refuses to extricate himself or herself from the offending situation is broadcasting a message that he or she does not deserve respect. It should then be no surprise when the child doesn't show respect for the parent.

It is my firmly held belief that a person cannot have respect taken away from them. Instead, it is ceded, and at enormous costs. It is at this time of year that I am reminded of what it means to demand respect for one's self and why I command and get respect. In 2011 I was shown extreme disrespect by an employee of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and its management. I wrote about that in 2011 and again in 2013.

I had been attending the Indianapolis 500 since 1978, also attended each of the USGP's , some of the MotoGP events, and on numerous other days during those events. But it only took one incident of disrespect shown to me to not return. As parents it is this level of respect for yourself which you must also demand through your actions.

Respect is about giving a person the autonomy to make a choice. Thus, when an individual is denied the opportunities to make choices that are afforded to others then that person is denied respect. Management of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway has chosen not to admit me to the track if I arrive on a bicycle and I, therefore, have chosen to exercise my right to chose not to return unless I get an apology. Other disrespectful situations I previously mentioned were employment conditions, other interpersonal relations, service providers, and social situations.

If you allow yourself to be wed to your job either through attachment to benefits, a debt burden,or lack of savings then you have set yourself up to be disrespected. If you do not feel that you can walk away from your employment at this moment then you are removing options from your life with is denying respect to yourself.

In personal relationships there is a careful balance that must be maintained as the option of terminating the relationship doesn't always exist. Here, I am thinking of disowning your children which we just don't do. But, it is within our control to exercise discretion about the dynamics of those relationships. Particularly I am referencing inducements and rewards. Parents who allow children to “run their lives” by giving into incessant demands, bowing to manipulation such as saying “I get to do this at my mom's/dad's house” or something similar, or caving to a temper-tantrum and not showing respect for themselves. A child's requests to a parent should be controlled by a clearly defined and followed by a system of procedures or not be entertained.

The level of dissatisfaction that people feel and express about service providers/retailers yet still engage in commerce with them astounds me. It took one incident by an employee of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for me to terminate a 35 year financial relationship. I have tossed a cell-phone out the car window when I couldn't get a signal within the “coverage area” then immediately moved on to a new carrier because I was denied the choice of making a call when I chose to given the terms of our contract. To be shown respect by someone seeking your money should be the highest standard for engaging in commerce with that entity.

Finally, in social situations respect takes on the tone of acceptable decorum such as the manner in which individuals are treated. Incidents that come to mind include being berated, attacked with derogatory terms, denied participation based upon an arbitrary standard, or physically attacked as a means of suppressing behaviour. These all are linked by the element of choice. It is within our power, or should be, to choose whether we allow ourselves to be exposed to these situations. If we have somehow interlocked ourselves to the situation and 'just have to take it' then we are not showing respect for ourselves.

I know at the end of each day that I am respected by everyone I interact with because I have respect for myself. If you are feeling disrespected then consider adopting some of these practices into your life. Having respect for yourself first leads others to also have respect for you.

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