Sindy on Respect
It wasn’t until I was writing my autobiography,
SINDY in Real Life
INTIMATE CONFESSIONS OF A NO-WIN NO-FEE PARALEGAL WHO BECAME A NO-FEE NO-ME ESCORT
that I became aware of how important the lack of respect in my life has been. My dad ignored me completely, even recently on his deathbed. Mum didn’t support me.
Boys ignored me until I offered easy sex and they just took it. I carried on letting men take advantage of me through years when I had no self-respect even though I’d started to earn money and provide alone for my kids.
I found two antidotes to reality, transcendental meditation, that I try to keep up, and dependence on red wine, which too often became my only comfort
Only two careers ever paid enough, working for no-win no-fee law firms and being a full-sex escort.
The legal work is nothing more than a series of con tricks, by government, by lawyers interested in a quick buck and by punters who are encouraged to lie for compensation.
The good lawyers who want fair settlements for ordinary people with genuine grievances are edged out.
Men who pay for sex are indistinguishable from other fathers, sons, lovers and partners. They only thing they have in common is the belief that when they pay, you are no longer worthy of respect. You don’t think you are either.
Some of them can and do offer affection, devotion even, because at heart they don’t believe they are worthy of respect if they have to pay for sex. But to others you are a temporary possession, a spicy meal that might linger in their memory, but as bad breath and diarrhoea does.
I suffered from lack of respect in another way. I was raised and live my life in a ‘suburban’ town and neighbourhood with people who travel infrequently and only then neatly ‘packaged’ with similar people. It isn’t a destination town and doesn’t have significant minority groups. So, I grew up among ‘people like us’ with ‘them’ out there.
The people like me I knew and understood as individuals, ‘them’ were just bundled together under one label or another. We were taught to fear and despise them, to believe in their inferiority.
My life as an escort and the examples of ‘them’ I met as a legal executive allowed me slowly to see that their individual differences were more significant than their label. That in fact, a generic description of their race or age, or class, or gender or faith that ‘people like us’ used as a label to despise them, they often wore with pride like a badge, worthy of respect.
My Philosophy of Respect
Over time I have concluded that being human is sufficient to demand respect. We all need to be proud of our potential and of who we are and we need others to acknowledge our humanity and show their respect.
But we need to be aware that sometimes our thoughts and actions, make us less worthy of respect, rob us of our self-respect, so we need to continue to earn respect, not for who we are, but because of what we think and do.
If we are respected and behave in ways that increase respect for us, we have the right to expect respect, despite the hostility of those who would label us to deny it to us.
I believe that respect makes the world a better place.
Campaigning for Respect
THE REAL LIFE PRESS WAY
It’s very easy for us to get together with ‘people like us’ and blame all our troubles on ‘them’. We don’t need to argue, we can all be on the same side and drink our wine or beer.
To campaign for respect, we need an ice-breaker, something we can discuss, without creating conflict, that allows us a way of expressing our views and listening to alternatives, some neutral territory where we don’t flaunt our badges as images of superiority or hide behind generic labels.
We may realize that the laws of the nation, or the rules of the process or game deny respect or self-respect to some people and want to change them.
Real Life Press has its VOICE of ORDINARY PEOPLE blog where constructive suggestions for change are made to those in power.
I like to get involved with ideas for promoting respect.
THE SINDY WAY
My way is to spread the word as widely as possible to get people noticing and talking about RESPECT and my slogan SHOW IT – EARN IT – EXPECT IT.
I’ll have to leave body tattoos to the experts and banners to those who want to march for respect. But I have posted a lot of statements on social media that you can share if you agree with them to spread the message more widely.
I’ve also had some merchandise created, T-shirts, bags, phone cases and posters with the slogan on them. Even a cap emblazoned with the word RESPECT.
I hope you’ll use this at home, at your social events, at school and work, to get people discussing RESPECT.
I hope you’ll enjoy yourselves, taking selfies or photoshopping the merchandise in amusing and unexpected ways and posting the outcomes on social media. Make sure you send them to me firstname.lastname@example.org so I can make sure that lots more people notice you.
If shortage of money is damaging your self-respect, and you have a little spare time, consider becoming a Buddy and help us spread the word in a way that earns money for you.
Please stay in touch
I’ve become a sort of Agony Aunt within the Real Life Press community. My blog SINDY’S COLUMN is where you will get a straight answer from someone who has been there and done that. From self-harm to resilience, from waste of space to motherhood, from selling sex and dodgy lawyering to appreciating the meaning of respect. Some of my answers may shock you, but you’ll see the sense in most of them and enjoy the anecdotes.