RiVillage

Your ideals matter!

6 | Drama

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“[In skateboarding,] the ollie leads to everything else in the entire skateboard world,” said Tiernan Moore in Episode 1 of the YouTube series Thumoslang102. “[The] ollie is the trick that gets you off the ground. You need it to do any other trick.” If you want to do a kickflip, for example, you need to do an ollie followed by a kick to flip the board.

By the same token, there is a “trick” so fundamental that if you failed to master it, you would be stuck at the outer rim in your social world most of your life. If you don’t know how to discharge the power of the said trick, you’re vulnerable to making mistakes that may cost you relationships and opportunities. The trick is called respect; it’s indispensable to almost everything else in the entire social world. For one, without respect, forget about love; love is impossible without any respect. Here is how it is defined by the 2017 book Thumos: Adulthood, Love & Collaboration.

  • Respect; that means, no interfering. [Thumbnail 1]

Respect is often used in everyday language as meaning to hold someone or something in high regard. However, respect is also used to mean no interfering in common vernacular. This leads to ambiguity, as someone in a relationship asking to be respected does not make it clear whether they wish to be more greatly admired or interfered with less. It is more practical to use the term admiration, when referring to high regard, and respect when referring to no interfering. The confusion might lie in the fact that an alternative to the concept of admiring is that of giving respect.

 

To American football fans, a pass interference is, according to Wikipedia, “a foul that occurs when a player interferes with an eligible receiver’s ability to make a fair attempt to catch a forward pass”. What took place in the above GIF1 is a perfect example of what interfering means: to prevent others from completing a task. In general, personal interference means you prevent the completion of what someone else is trying to accomplish. No wonder why the 2017 book defines it using the following thumbnail definition:

  • Interfering; that means, preventing completion. [Thumbnail 2]

Putting the above two thumbnail definitions together, respect comes into play when you prevent someone from achieving one or more of their ideals. When something is ideal, it is a perfect fit or in the condition you desire the most. An ideal is an experience fitting perfectly regardless of its duration.

  • Ideal; that means, perfect fit. [Thumbnail 3]

A person’s ideals are what define their actions that have consequences to their life. Even if one may make up less than 1% of their ideal self, contribute to what they truly want to become. A midnight snack of junk food every weekend, for example, contributes to the overall health of an individual, even if that contribution is a minute part of the countless elements that make up how a person wants to live their life.

  • Your-ideal-self; that means, what you truly want to become. [Thumbnail 4]

Putting the above four thumbnails together, I’m said to be disrespecting you when I interfere with what you truly want to become, and preventing you from making a life considered ideal to you. To claim that the concept of disrespect is at play, you must demonstrate that completion of an experience could not be reached due to interference.

Respecting someone does not mean you must avoid preventing anything that person may try to do. For example, a person in a monogamous relationship is not being disrespected by their partner, who won’t allow romantic and sexual relations outside of their relationship. While an action is being restricted, it is not preventing their completion because it is not standing in the way of an expressed ideal. An ideal cannot be respected unless it is explicitly expressed. Until you tell others “I want this” or “I don’t want that”, they cannot respect you because they don’t know how to, or that they need to, do so. In the aforementioned example, it would be the adulterer who disrespects, as the ideal of “I don’t want you to have romantic or sexual relations with people outside of our relationship” was expressed and agreed to at the start of the relationship.

When it comes to respecting the important people in your life, one of the worst mistakes to make in a relationship is assuming that others would make the same decision as yourself in a situation. For example, your regularly busy friend has a day off of their normal work duties, and tell you as much. As a result, you assume they would agree to spend that day with you, then take further actions as if that decision was already made by the other person, such as restaurant reservations. This is not disrespectful to the other person unless the further actions prevent the other from completing their task or project. But surely this is self-disrespect, as you prevent yourself from having a drama-free life.

A concept in Thumoslang that only a drama-free life can posses is called a deliberate family. At its essence, it is the group that consistently celebrates every member’s personal ideals all the way along their journey in life; the closest people in your life helping you become your ideal self, while respecting you fully. You need to build a deliberate family because that is the fastest way to ensure that, for the rest of your life, your personal ideals are nurtured and protected by the same group of people. Otherwise, it would be near impossible or too tiring to explain all over again so one after another group understand fully what you truly want to become.

End of Chapter 6

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