What is due?

This is a continuation of my thoughts from yesterday on Just Deserts.

In one organization, the core values are Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence. Integrity is intrinsic, something of your character. Service is putting others first, doing what’s best for the member or the organization. It is a perception of what you see is in the best interest of people other than yourself, so that is also a reflection of your character. Excellence, I suppose is in striving to be and do your best. That is also intrinsic–something that comes from your character. However, respect is not owed to anyone. It is not a right, nor is it to be taken lightly. You should show consideration and tolerance to everyone, but respect is earned. You can genuinely show respect for someone you don’t like much. You can respect a person’s point of view if it seems consistent with their values and is logically acquired. I have no respect for a point of view that is based on memes and popular though uninformed statements of policy. “The government is out to get us!” without a basis in fact will never get my respect. “The government is out to get us!” with pictures of misdeeds, court cases documenting illegal activities, paperwork delineating activities that are not in the best interest of the governed would get my respect.

The expectation is that everyone is entitled to Love and Respect. They aren’t. Don’t get me wrong. God loves everyone but it is not the Love they’re talking about as an entitlement. If people believe they’re entitled to Love, that is the kind of love that overlooks faults, sacrifices self-interest, places the object of love above everything else, and is undeniable–meaning that everything this beloved person wants, this beloved person gets. So Love…and jewelry. As humans, we do not have this capacity. We can love them as brothers and sisters in Christ, but it doesn’t mean that they get everything they want. We are not required to sell our cars to them for $1 because they like the color and want to impress the rest of the people on the block. This is where the Karen complaints come in.

  • My son wants that mask and it looks awful on you so give it over.
  • I paid for my tickets and got here late but you have to give me the seats anyway, even if you gave my seats away to people on the waiting list because I was late. Kick them out and tell them too bad so sad.
  • You have to sell me a whole bolt of the Christmas fabric for the price of these 2 1/2 yards because I needed 3 yards and you don’t have it in stock anymore. Order it right now and I will pick it up tomorrow. (It’s not available because it’s January and won’t be available for another 11 months. Even if I ordered it today, it wouldn’t come in until November of Next year. And no, we will not sell you a whole bolt of discontinued fabric for the price of 3 yards because we are not required to keep a supply of it just for your pet project.) Yes, you may call corporate headquarters. Can I listen in? Please?

Love is not earned, but it is not deserved either. Love is a two-way street. If you show love to people and they don’t return the feeling, you are not reduced by this. If someone shows love to you and you don’t return the feeling, you are not a lesser person. But if you show love to someone and they return it, it’s a very special relationship. It can last for decades, and it can grow in many different directions and become a deeper connection than most can imagine.

Respect is slightly different. It, too, is a two way street, but in this case, it must be earned and maintained in order to continue. Respect is paid, not given. Showing respect doesn’t mean you feel respect. It means that until this person has earned it, you give them the benefit of the doubt. Not many can show respect for any length of time before the rubber hits the road and the object of respect proves they deserve it.

Respect and Love are not entitlements.

What is an entitlement? You are entitled to fair treatment under the law. You are entitled to representation in government. You are entitled to fair market compensation for goods and services rendered. You are entitled to the rights delineated in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. That’s about it.

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