“Men are respectable only as they respect”   – Ralph Waldo Emerson
So today is Dec. 8th 2011, 7 years since guitar genius Dimebag Darrel was shot to death onstage while performing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa in Columbus, Ohio.  To pay my respects I started my day off with some Pantera, and just as “Walk” started to methodically pace out my day, so did the lyrics.      The words surfaced thoughts I have been having  about the “show”,  (I reluctantly hate to admit) I watched the other night. I really didn’t want to play into all the hype and shit that was going on over it. Seems totally ridiculous to me, when it’s only feeding the monsters that created it and giving them exactly what they want. I try to stay away from BS like that.  But the thing that was sticking in my head wasn’t the “show” or lack of, it wasn’t the bikes, or lack of, and it wasn’t the builders, or lack of, it was the people and the crap they were saying about each other for not agreeing on who/what bike should have “won”.
As a member of the motorcycling culture family, the motto to live by is RESPECT your Brothers. Look out for one another and treat each other right.  Everywhere you look you see people tooting the message, see it on blogs, in print, on websites, everywhere.   Everyone just loves to throw this around.  Well, after all that went down I’m sitting here and the only thing that comes to mind is  where the hell did all the respect go?
I’m completely appalled at the shit being thrown, embarrassed to call myself a part of this community….  Seems to me those shouting the message, don’t even really know the message…  I think some are confused……
Respect isn’t an allegiance.  No, it’s not a loyalty or devotion to some person, group, cause, or the like.  No, you see Respect has NOTHING to do with that.  It is To consider worthy of esteem; to regard with honor. When did it become ok to confuse the two? When did it become ok to chose one over the other?  I believe the two should exist inside you at the same time. A true MAN (used for both male and female) is able to comprehend and exhibit these two traits.
These days people are willing to “drop you”, or lose “respect” for you if you don’t have the same thoughts, opinions or allegiance as them? Really, what is that?  I believe what I believe, I like what I like, I trust what I trust and I have faith in what I have faith in. YOU may not agree or share the same allegiances I have, but guess what, that doesn’t mean I’m going to “drop you”, that doesn’t mean I’m going to hate you and it sure as hell doesn’t mean I am going to lose any respect for you.  How would I ever expect you to respect me, if I don’t respect you…  Just because we have different ideas of what is “cool” or “right” doesn’t mean we have to be disrespectful to one another.
This topic comes up with everything in life, politics, religion, education, etc… blah, blah,   People will make decisions about others and treat them with respect or lack of respect simply because they confuse respect with allegiance. That is sad, very sad, especially sad in a community that boasts the morals that the motorcycling community does.
You stand for other countries’ anthems, but do not sing them. You bow your head during the prayers of other religions, but do not recite them.  All these are valid ways of showing respect without pledging allegiance.
So why don’t we behave this way to one another who have a different view of lets say something not that grand in the overall grand scheme of things in life such as a motorcycle, or the way it was built…… ?
Through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, ( but usually nothing to choose from). If we chose different does that mean I deserve no respect from you, or you deserve none from me?
Don’t get me wrong, yes of course express how you feel, express what you believe in,   Don’t ever be bullied into silence, don’t conform, don’t accept what you don’t like.  Just don’t do it with lack of respect for others who carry just as strong an allegiance towards something different than your own.
And with that I leave you with these lyrics…..
Respect, walk. what did you say?
Respect, walk. Are you talking to me?
Run your mouth when I’m not around
It’s easy to achieve.