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courtesy and respect - random thoughts

Poster: many waters cannot quench love <lisa@technomancer.com>

unto the merry rose, from melys, greetings!
i have an open question (or several) for the populace: do you feel that a
hypothetical royal such-and-such deserves more courtesy than a
hypothetical lord so-and-so? more respect? (if so, why?)  how do you
define the difference between courtesy and respect?

(for me, the answers are no, yes, and "respect is an attitude.  courtesy
is a set of actions."  all of which are horribly over-simplified, but then
i talk to much anyway.  and am about to do so again, so if you don't want
to see me rant some more, hit delete now!  this is obnoxiously long, and
is mostly concerned with some semantic and behavioral notions i'm trying
to work out in my own actions.) 

his highness presented two opinions in his message - one about insurance
and the other about the comparison between the cost of membership & the
cost of dinner out.  tibor offered an interpretation of the insurance
which disagreed with his highness's opinion.  does this constitute a
public slight?  i very strongly doubt that any of our current, past, or
future royals are sufficiently omniscient as to be infallible.  (would i
get my head chopped off for that, in the real middle ages?  *grin*) 

the opinion expressed by his highness was expressed in public, from a
position of authority - both the authority conveyed by the crown, and the
authority of his tenure as an organizer of demos - and was such that,
IF it in fact does not represent the current state of the insurance
policy, people using that opinion as a basis for their actions could end
up believing themselves to be more fully covered than they in fact are.
tibor seemed to have information indicating that this was the case; he has
the right and (debatably) the duty to make that information available
in the same forum.  and under the same aegis - after all, unless we do the
research ourselves, we're still dealing with tibor's interpretation versus

the question of whether or not dinner and a movie costs the same as an sca
membership is phenomenally trivial, but the same point stands - so, people
disagree with his highness.  perhaps some words could be watched more
carefully than others - but his highness himself did not seem to take
offense either at the disagreements or the disagree-ers.  (and i fervently
hope that nothing in this missive gives cause to disturb the royal
countenance which has remained so benevolent thus far, as such is not my

people disagree on this list all the time, and occasionally not as
politely or reasonably as courtesy would suggest.  it seemed to me that
thorkell was objecting to discourtesy in general, and to discourtesy to
his highness in particular; in my opinion, it's no more discourteous to
disagree with his highness than it would be to disagree with me.  (as long
as you do so politely, and with appropriate respect, in both cases.) 
there are subjects on which i disagree with logan; i respect his opinion
on those subjects no more - and no less - now that he's his highness, and
will continue to do so when he's his grace, than when he was "just logan." 

implying that we have more reason to be courteous to the crown is, by
inversion, implying that we have less reason to be courteous to those not
crowned, and is one of my pet peeves.  (especially because it's a habit
into which it's so easy to fall...  *wry grin*)  those few royal nobles
with whom i have had the honor and privilege of close acquaintance have
usually been the first to insist that others be treated with AT LEAST as
much courtesy as they themselves are offered. 

i see the crown (or any landed coronet, for that matter) as a duty, a
responsibility, and a privilege. it deserves the respect due both to the
important role it plays in our society and to the gallant (and HUMAN)
people who make the sacrifices necessary to fill that role for us.  but
respect does not mean refraining from disagreeing - in my opinion, part of
respect IS polite and courteous disagreement in the appropriate
circumstances.  (a person with whom i felt no freedom to disagree would be
a person for whom i can't imagine having very much respect...  altho i
would still strive to be courteous to them.  probably more out of fear
than for any other reason... *wry grin*) 

i do automatically respect a crowned head on a level that doesn't apply to
a regular lord/lady, because they have taken on a task that is both
onerous and beneficial to others, and whether or not i think they're
actually doing a good job, i do respect them for trying.  but that's
independent of the myriad other things that lead me to respect or not
respect a person - and i try to be equally courteous to everybody (on the
principle that if i do respect them, they deserve the courtesy, and if i
don't respect them, then it's good practice in do unto others *grin*). 

it's hard to be that black-and-white about it, tho.  there are levels of
courtesy - bowing when they pass, toasting them at feast - which seem to
be rendered to royals as tokens of respect to them.  how else do you
communicate respect, except through courtesy?  so maybe there's a basic
level of courtesy due to all people, and then anything beyond that level
is indicative of higher-than-normal respect...

ack.  anyway, mostly i'm just confused.  (i'm sure this would all be
much easier if i didn't think so much about it all!)  how do you sort it

						in service,


lisa@technomancer.com		lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'intrate!

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