Springingtiger's Blog

There is One Greater Than I


I have certain phrases I use often, one such is, “There is one greater than I, I call it God”.  It is not my intention to talk about God, but rather about humanity. If there is but one greater than I and that one is God, then it follows that there is no human greater than I. As a corollary I would add that, equally, I consider no human less than me.

Burns had it right when he wrote, a man’s a man for a’ that”. The whole structure of status is a sham, that which commands respect in a person is their humanity. When we look at some of those who have been recipients of “honours” like Fred Goodwin or various celebrates, we see how hollow those titles are. I was watching “New Tricks” at one point a secretary objected to the way her boss was addressed and said, “You may call him, Your Lordship” and I thought, “Aye right”. If I don’t give a man a title I won’t call him by one, Mr. is good enough except for those I may call, “comrade”. People have a right to expect the courtesy due to their humanity, but no more. Even more pathetic than clinging to titles are those who feel that their celebrity or wealth, somehow confers upon them status; these are the people who stoop to expressions like, “Do you know who I am?” or, “I pay your wages”, to which I am inclined to reply, “No, do you know who you are?” or, more bluntly, “I don’t care who you are.” perhaps even, “my wages are miserly, are you claiming to be mean?” Money is not evidence of humanity, celebrity is not evidence of worth, by all means respect someone’s achievements, but they are still only human, no better or worse than any other person. What is certainly true is that neither wealth not celebrity nor formal status confers any authority except in the field in which that person earned their recognition and yet our media will seek their opinion on a range of subjects, upon which they are no better equipped to give an opinion than any “man in the street”.

I have the utmost respect for the Queen and her ability to do her job, I would, however, question whether that job should exist. When one looks at how the queen’s ancestors gained the crown, it becomes apparent that acceptance of monarchy is to condone treachery and violence and worse, it is founded in immorality and so an ethical person cannot support it, except, perhaps, where the possible alternatives are worse. Several of our titled families received their titles as a reward for providing sexual favours to the king, Charles II seems to have been particularly fond of enobling bastards, to respect these titles is to encourage debauchery and adultery, however the holders of these titles are human and as such command the same respect as any other human.

Just as there are people whose accomplishments are worthy of respect, there are those whose behavior is utterly contemptible; we all have our own lists, mine would include both the murderer, Ian Brady and the Chancellor, George Osborn. However someone behaves, they too are human and should still be treated with respect as far as that goes. Sometimes accepting another’s right to be treated as a human may almost choke us,  but it is a right to which we are all entitled. There are those who would treat the disabled, particularly those with learning difficulties as less than human, others would deny humanity to those of different ethnicity or belief. That a Hitler allows Slavs to be treated as less than human, or Lincoln the native Americans, neither makes it right nor entitles others to do the same. There is only one greater than I or, indeed, you. We are equals.


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