I’ve always believed that dishonesty is the worst sign of disrespect. I just wish I could dismiss it as pure dishonesty that easily. That burden of awareness can really weigh you down at times like this. Being aware of what drives others to be weak enough to be dishonest makes it nearly impossible to shun them.
The reality behind the dishonesty is that we’re weak enough to believe that the truth of us will repulse those around us, and so we create alternate realities to court the affection of others, forgetting what a dark web it spins for us. I can only imagine how dreary those quiet moments must be when we are faced with the stark contrast between our life and the life we present to others about ourselves. It can only tear away at your self-respect even more, which is the irony of it all because it was that same low self-worth, or lack of respect for your self, that drove you to create that alternate reality in the first place.
I’ve often looked at scum bags, really low life schmucks that are blatant about their immoral or underhanded behaviour without any concern for the perceptions of others. I wondered as to whether that is a reflection of confidence or a total disregard for acceptance, or perhaps it’s the total abandon of hope in receiving any such affection which makes the entire purpose of their life a protest against the wholesomeness of that which they’ve been denied.
Provide those same scum bags with a teaser of hope in being included in something larger than themselves, and withhold it the moment they edge towards it, and you’re likely to see a level of anger and bitterness that drives them to violence. Violence in such cases is the ultimate form of protest while at the same time being the deepest cry for compassion. But the risk of any such compassion being temporary or unfulfilled is so real based on the past betrayals of their lives that they are more likely to spurn it rather than embrace it, because protecting themselves from loss is better than having and losing again. Or so it seems at the time.
But I started out writing this post with a very different angle to this that played on my mind. I thought that only the most deliberate of lies must reflect disrespect, because you can’t possibly lie to someone that you claim to respect. While I believe there is truth in that, I also believe that a greater truth lies closer to the fact that it implies that your disrespect for yourself is greater than your respect for that person that you claim to respect, and when that dynamic comes into play, you’d rather sacrifice your standing with that person than reveal the ugly that swims around inside of you. Hence the lie that follows.
Our response to that determines a number of things about us, not least of which is our commitment to the one that lies. Are we invested in raising their level of self-respect more than we are in gaining our rightful respect and appreciation from them, or is our investment in our rights greater? But it’s not that simple, because at some point the investment may cause a denial of rights to others because we have a limited capacity, both emotionally and materially. So we find ourselves in murky waters feeling contaminated by the murk while also feeling undeniably attached to it. Pulling away to save ourselves spawns the burden of guilt or responsibility that goes with such a decision, while remaining tethered weighs us down because of the lack of sweetness from such an investment. Any sweetness that it may hold is on hold until our investment pays off. If ever. And it’s that gamble that gnaws away at us in the quiet moments when we don’t have the distractions of life to save us from its contemplation.
I am convinced that the liar holds more self-loathing than any loathing we may hold for them. I also think that we spurn their weakness because it can easily spawn similar weaknesses in us when we find ourselves faced with difficult choices. In those difficult moments, it’s easy to justify a dishonest response because ‘everyone’ else does it, so it is entirely understandable. But such justification only provides some peace as long as we’re convinced of its truthfulness. That’s when we choose to surrender our principles in favour of ease, or we grudgingly hold on while also denying the reality of our weakness. That creates the tension within us that drives us to seek distractions around us, eventually leading to chronic ailments of the heart and the body that robs us of our sanity and self-respect as we grow older.
My thoughts are almost entirely incoherent this morning, so this is my attempt at seeking sanity among the insane. I guess it’s also entirely possible that scum bags are not really scum after all, and that the true scum bags are the ones that betrayed their trust (probably at an early age) that resulted in their loathing for this world, and anyone that represents the warmth that they’ve been denied.