This is written specifically for a member of my family. I don’t want to oust them, so I’ll speak in general terms, but wherever he is, I hope he’s reading.

Respect, as well as affection, is something that has to be earned. Of course, disrespect and violence should not be the default, but I believe that demanding respect and affection while not doing anything to deserve it, or to invite it, is not only stupid, it’s detrimental.

Think of it this way: If you’re hungry for affection, you don’t really want affection, you want what affection symbolizes. Things like love, care, fondness, that is what you’re after. And do you really want that to be faked? What kind of person are you if you’re so desperate for love, that you demand it be faked instead of changing your attitude, changing yourself, to invite the kindness and fondness you so crave?

And think of it this way: If you want to be respected, and you’re not, why aren’t you? Very few people start off disrespecting someone before even getting to know them. If anything, it’s usually the other way around. So if people disrespect you, the most likely thing is that you have done something to merit that disrespect. If you don’t realize this, you won’t grow, and if you don’t grow, that same respect that you demand, will never come.

Think about it.