Intsiksiomai's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘character

Dictionary.com has a funny way of giving synonyms to the word “polite”.  Some of the synonyms used are condescending, conciliatory, diplomatic, punctilious. On the other hand,”respect” had synonyms of esteem, regard, honor, value.

People keep interchanging these 2 different concepts. It’s just frustrating to keep correcting people about it.

When we say “please” or “excuse me” to strangers or servicemen, when we say “po” or “opo” and help old people cross the street, when a gentleman opens the door to a lady, when we accommodate old people, that’s just mere POLITENESS.    The most that we can demand from others if we want to be treated in a nice way is also just mere politeness. One can NEVER RESPECT AN OPPOSING OPINION, until it ceases to be opposing and someone finally agrees or becomes convinced.  We may have religious tolerance, but we can never respect the person’s different religious conviction.

People are polite for different reasons.  Fear is often a motivating factor of politeness, especially if politeness is directed towards people with power, higher positions, or older grouches.  I also quite agree with the funny synonym condescending as a motivation for politeness.  We tend to be careful not to hurt the feelings of service crews and maids so we give them extremely polite orders.  The polite manner in which we address them is contrasted with the act of ordering them around.  In some cases, some snooty people just want to display an air of sophistication by being extremely polite to others they consider lower in status.  They just want to display their polishness more than really liking anybody in the party. Men are afraid to be rejected by women so they also act gentlemanly not out of respect, but to ensure that they won’t be rejected by women/potential preys.  Society has brainwashed us to treat old people with respect.  Again, treating them in a certain way doesn’t necessarily mean the esteem, regard, high valuation are there.  In many cases, it’s pity, guilt, and fear of criticism that we feel, mistaken as “respect”.

I’m not dissuading anybody to be polite.  I’m just here to clarify, distinguish, and make aware. In terms of gradient of motivation, polite  can be from negative to neutral to positive, while respect is always positive.  No more misnomers. Don’t get flattered over politeness.

For most people, the words “normal” and “norm” are positive, while “weird” has a negative ring.  It is the opposite for me.  Norm means the majority average, and the average is usually mediocre.  Norm can be  5 feet in height, a secretary or clerk, an average college graduate from FEU, a minimum wage worker, a Catholic, and an avid viewer of Wowowee.  What’s so fantastic about that?!?  Norm is just a repetitive behavior of the consensus of the masses.  While the average norm is hopeless, the “weird” has hope.  Weird either falls on the minority lower or minority higher spectrum of the curve.  A weirdo can be a loser, a retard, a stuttering beast, or,  a genius, a superhero, or a levitating monk.  Hopeless normal or a 50-50 weirdo.  I’ll pick the weirdo.

What’s so sacred with MARRIAGE?  Let me enumerate the aspects in marriage– spiritual, social, and legal.  I’m an atheist (but not a materialist atheist), so I don’t see the sacredness in the churchy union of marriage.  I find kamasutra more spritual than a church union. Really.  Second is the social/society aspect of marriage.  Again, the society is composed of “normal” people.  Should I care what the Wowowee viewers think of me?@!? Lastly, the legal aspect of marriage is the most crucial and important part as far as I’m concerned.  I don’t want my money to go to government when I die.  I prefer to entrust my money to the one who pleasured me the most–relationally that is, whether he faked it or not. So marriage is worth considering only on the legal aspect of it.

Speaking of legal system or the law, I don’t quite agree that it should be followed black and white.  For example, a country’s laws are either dictated by the powerful few or the consensus of the idiots.  Democracy for the masses is a democracy that the masses cannot handle.  On the other hand, if we entrust the “law” to the powerful, we are not even sure of their character alignment.  Will it be only to their advantage or to the advantage of the majority? Legal system and the laws are so man-made, so fallible, so subjective, so not absolute.  In reality, the laws are only as good as the people who formulated them.

Legally speaking, which is worse?  A philanderer or a tax-evader? I wonder……

People keep interchanging these 3 adjectives as if they are one and the same. They may be running in the same path, but I would like to define each one of them and put them in the proper hierarchy of goodness. Kindness is the highest good among the 3. It means being compassionate towards life and people in general, having natural inclination of helping others, being more considerate of people and things in general, and predisposed to accomodate people (as much as possible). Kind people has a bigger and more generous heart. It may not be in the form of money or things, but time and effort. It brings love to a greater degree, without inflicting harm to anyone, and never at the expense of others. Niceness is the second good among the 3. The difference is that niceness is more shallow. It brings cheer, pleasant words and gestures, but without the feeling of too much responsibility towards them. It displays agreeableness, congeniality. It evades conflict and friction, always yearning for a more peaceful atmosphere. Sometimes, I equate this niceness with naivety. Justice, truth, or pending conflicts are better raised and fought rather than insisting on maintaining the atmosphere of false peace. Obedience ranks the least. I don’t even consider it good, but just a neutral quality of people. Obedience is just for maintaining order, whether the order is for the good(traffic rules), or for the bad (assassinate him!). Obedience means submission to an authority. It is submission of the will. When there is obedience, there is an authority, a leader, a dictator. There is a person commanding for the obeyer to comply with his requirement or order. Whether the order of the commander is for his own good or not, or for someone else’s good or not, is not the concern of someone really really obedient. Obedience is encouraged by the more powerful and superior as a means to temper the lower beings/barbarians. Parents want children to obey, for what, we can’t ask. President wants us to obey, for what, we can’t let her justify. Among the Orientals, obedience is one of the most prized qualities. Young people should obey the old. Wife should obey the husband. The obedience is based on hierarchy, seniority, age. Reasoning, rationalizing, questioning are discouraged. Obedience doesn’t require a lot of thinking and pondering, just mere doing and following. Tagalog is such a limited language. And “mabait” is overused to mean almost anything. People are not sharp to see or sense the real quality and motive of a person. Why not try using “masunurin”, “magalang”, “maginoo”, “mapagpanggap”, “sipsip”, or “uto-uto” instead?