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Re: "Respect" in Internet Discussions

Nov 19, 2008 05:44 AM
by Katinka Hesselink


I'll be responding in between.
--- In, MKR <mkr777@...> wrote:
> From time to time, you will find mention is made about the issue of
> in messages posted in Internet. It is an interesting topic and I
would like
> to talk about it.
> First of all, Internet (especially the
> independent forums such as this, is the most level field. Many of us
> been posting messages for several years and none of us have
complained about
> lack of respect in the messages.

Well, that's because complaining does not help. One of the reasons I
have not been all that active here is precisely because some people
just can't seem to help flooding the forum with infinitely repeated

> This is because, you cannot command or demand respect from independent
> participants. You earn it by your actions both here as well as
outside (if
> outside actions are relevant and we come to know of them.) Some who are
> are/were occupying positions of power of one kind or another, end up
> in a psychological cocoon and it is very difficult to get out of it
in real
> world where we are all equals because no one can exert any kind of power
> over others.

That is true. It is indeed an issue for anybody in power that they get
isolated from people who disagree with them. It's one of the
guru-traps: only meeting people who admire you and agree with you. 
> There was an incident in one of Krishnamurti's group meetings. He
went round
> and inquired each one present as to what they are. One said he is a
> another a teacher, third an accountant, fourth a homemaker, fifth
chef and
> so on. When everyone has responded, K said all of them are wrong.
> is human being first and foremost.

Great anecdote, but he was baiting them. The usual answer to that
question is to name your occupation, if you have one. 

> He said the doctor is a doctor when he is treating a patient. An
> is one when he is in his office and doing his accounting work and so
on. We
> tend to bring our profession and other personal accomplishments into
> and they are irrelevant except when you are engaged in the specific
> professional act. When we meet and interact with each other as
friends, we
> are all human beings and keeping that in mind makes interaction and
> communication easy.
> So when we consider the question of respect, we need to be aware and not
> expect respect in our message exchanges because of one's position
(past or
> present), one's accomplishments in other fields etc. When this is
done, real
> communication is possible and the whole focus on "respect" fades
away and
> one would not complain about lack of respect.

I don't mind about respect. But I do mind when people attack people
without thinking things through. Or when they repeat arguments they've
already made & keep pounding on their favorite hobby horse. 


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