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How Relevance and Honour are Intertwined

Updated: Jul 24

For those new to Philosocom, let me tell you about a certain event, and person, who triggered me to go on a so-called "world-conquest" mission. I gave her the pseudonym of Ms. Chen, and she was my greatest love thus far, even if a terribly failed one. I was really grateful for her presence in my life, even if it was a short one.

Ultimately, she justified her disconnecting from me once more, by claiming that I'm "too irrelevant". This notion of irrelevance, of not being good or worthy enough, created a huge flame within me, to prove her wrong, by trying to be even more successful as a writer than I already might be. It is merely a positive outlet, of a quest for retribution.

However, I think I finally got it. After being left in the dark permanently, and regardless of my autism, I think I know why she called me that. She called me that, possibly, because she didn't respect me almost at all; Perhaps, she saw me as unworthy of her respect, as condescending as it may be.

I didn't do shameful or disgraceful things to her. I composed a waltz for her as a teenager, I gave her a copy of my first book, and yet, for some reason she didn't really felt obliged to respect me as an equal.

When we were students, she treated me as if I don't exist at all, since she believed that would make me forget her, even though I saw her anyways and inevitably. Her presence, even, used to make me want to puke as a coping mechanism, which happened several times during these dark years as a student.

I don't really know why she accepted me into her life again, after several years of silence. And yet, she said so nonchalantly, in the end, that I'm too irrelevant to worth her time with me.

Thus, even though I was an antagonist in her life, even if an anti-antagonist, I was in the end nothing more but a person unworthy enough to respect. Do you know why? Because those who truly respect others, don't call them irrelevant. It is a disrespectful word, a disgraceful one, and of course, insulting.

This obsession with relevance, although made one of my advisors be a bit repulsed by it, led me to the conclusion that RELEVANCE AND RESPECT are INTERTWINED. They are intertwined, you see, by recognition. Without recognition, neither relevance nor respect are actually possible.

If you don't recognize something or someone in good regard, then you'd be likely to not only disrespect them, but also bully it and harass it, similarly to internet trolls. After all, those who mock others, do not recognize them in a sufficient value, that would make them respect them and see them as relevant in their lives.

Still, the bitter truth is that neither relevance, recognition nor respect are within your control, when it comes to yourself. You can't force others to appreciate you, unless you're a tyrannical dictator who would put their lives on the line.

Therefore, my quest for relevance requires the respect of others, if I want my content's contribution to the world be significant and worthy enough.

Those who have appreciation to others, have it because of their own sincere will, and not because of simply being forced by the one they appreciate. Some gain it through fear, authoritarianism, manipulation and so on, but these are methods I am heavily against, as they contradict my ethics.

It is easy, online, to render anyone as a hypocrite. After all, much of your info and history is recorded on the internet, and sometimes you simply upload it to this medium.

Each word, behaviour, decision -- each could render you a hypocrite, as long as you don't be a man of your word.... as long as you won't be, a man, or woman, of honour. Anyone can make a YouTube video out of you and ruin your name for good in the eyes of those who watch it.

It is when you respect yourself enough, when others could be drawn to you, and render your existence relevant to them. After all, a hypocritical public figure, is one who ends up derailed by their audience.

I guess I can understand the mistakes I made with Chen. I promised her that I will never contact her again, which happened nonetheless due to my desire to better understand things; I gave her a book where I wrote that I'm a monk, even though I was still tempted by the idea of love; I tried to convince her to come back and be a friend of mine, even though she didn't want to, and yeah.

Ultimately, my own utter lack of social awareness, created by my thirst for knowledge and company, is what led her to also say that she respects her partner, without saying that she respects me as well. When her grandpa died, she defined him as a "man of honour". Yes, it seems that I've indeed came unto something important in my quest to understand the world.

When you're autistic, you won't necessarily be respected like "normal" people. Some might treat you coldly, some might disrespect you for your supposed innocence.

It was really painful, all these years, to be undermined by others, just because of my inherit lack of interpersonal skills. It s*cks, but I now need to remember that the world is still largely social-based, no matter how many solitary people actually exist in the overall population.

I freely studied the philosophy of Japanese honour through videos, since reading exhausts me to the point of fatigue. The kamikaze pilots of WWII, where treated in high regard, simply because of their will to sacrifice their own blood and life in the name of Imperial Japan. Thus, even if they die, every drop of their blood is essentially a tribute to their nation.

Even regular Japanese infantrymen believed that they should never retreat, as that would be disrespectful to their nation, and even the very concept of dying for your country, or atoning for your dishonour by killing yourself, were things that were highly valued in traditional Japanese society. To this day, the Yakuza, or Japan's mafia organizations, may demand their subordinates to cut off their finger, as a way to restore their honour.

I don't exactly support this extreme sacrifice, just to repent for respect. No one should kill themselves in the modern world just to repay for their dishonour. But I guess it's a cultural thing, or at least, was.

Still, when a warrior dies a honourable death, whether in suicide or as a way to pay for their disgraceful actions, they might be remembered as war heroes and as noble warriors, who were true to their word, to their purpose in life. In exchange, some of them might be remembered with dignity and appreciation.

In other words, respect requires at least by little, a sacrifice. Sacrifices, after all, serve as evidence as to your seriousness. It doesn't have to be through committing suicide at all; Come with a tie to a job interview, help others with directions on the street without misleading them; Listen to the stories of people who want to share them with you. And the list goes on.

Only then, when you justify your reason to be seen as a respected person by others, it's then when you can gather enough influence to make an impact on the world, and thus, attain relevance.

I'm not fooled by the unrealistic possibility of attaining everyone's approval. There might always be someone who would mock and laugh at you. Thus, why worry about this implication, which is the product of a genuine desire to be of greater worth to the world?

Look at political leaders, the most influential figures in their nations. Their fame and power could easily lead to laugh at your expense, or even be treated like garbage, by those you've sworn to rightfully serve.

Since I did not preserve my word to be, even back around 8 years ago, I guess that it's not entirely her fault, but of myself as well.

I don't know if I will ever be worthy of her respect, but that doesn't seem to be relevant anymore. What I've learned from this woman is, that I can't expect everyone to respect me, even if that respect is deserved. It's ultimately their choice, not mine, even if I'll try to attain it from them.

All I've left to do now, is not to redeem myself, as I didn't really do anything dishonourable, but to recognize the fact that relevance is a choice made my others, based on my choices. I can't expect everyone to respect me, but I can at least try to be worthy of their respect. That's the only way to attain my quest for World Relevance.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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