- Thoughts for inspired living

January 24, 2017


Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 7:18 am

RespectThe Grasshopper was on his soapbox this morning when he said, “People deserve our respect until they become disrespectful.”

“Respect your elders,” “Always be respectful,” “Show a sign of respect” are some of the lessons we’ve been taught in life and it’s hard to argue with their logic . . . until people become disrespectful.

This is not a directive to fight fire with fire but more of a notice to change tactics when encountering disrespect.

I believe it’s productive to begin with respect when interacting with another. It’s when your respect is not returned that you may have to resort to disrespect. Disrespect in this context means that your respect for their actions is no longer a viable strategy to move forward and you have to shift gears.

Reminds me of a story I may have told before . . . I was attending a workshop some 30 years ago when the workshop leader was having a back and forth with a less than respectful attendee (think heckler at a comedy show). The attendee had taken issue with something the teacher had offered to the class. The teacher patiently attempted to explain what was meant by the teaching but kept getting interrupted by this person with obtuse logic that had no relevance to what the teacher was saying. Finally the teacher said, “Either you don’t understand what I’m saying or you’re too stupid to get it. Which one is it?”

On the surface, the teacher’s response was disrespectful, and it worked. The attendee calmed down and listened to the explanation without further interruption.

There are many steps that can be taken before resorting to disrespect but there does come a time when disrespect becomes a tool of change. I don’t think it’s the first tool you want to pull out of the toolbox, but know it’s there if you need it.

The objective of disrespect is not to match the disrespectfulness of another. That never works. That’s just name calling one-upmanship. The objective is to get their attention, not to find out who has the bigger vocabulary.

Once you have someone’s attention, it’s much easier to make your point.

Respect is an admirable quality and also a great song by Aretha Franklin. Just know if the CD starts skipping, you may have to resort to disrespect.

All the best,


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