Awhile back someone took a look at my life and decided it needed fixing. I went along with this little game until the day I informed the person that I was done and no longer desired to be anyone's science fair project. I then wisely, I thought, stated that if our relationship was going to continue I expected equality. The person has not communicated since my demand was stated; perhaps still contemplating just how to make my request a reality.
Yesterday I began contemplating the exact same question with surprising results.
After some research I have determined that where humans are concerned there is no such thing as equality. In the first place who will decide what is equal? Everyone has had different life experiences. Some grew up in ideal family settings, others did not; some have great educations, others do not; some are financially well off, others are not; some are physically fit, others are not etc. etc. etc. as the King of Siam once proclaimed.
Even if you took two human beings with the exact same backgrounds and engaged them in a tug of war the battle would still not be equal. One of those beings would always have more drive, more determination and more faith in their ability to win and therefore would be the winner of the contest.
So much for equality.
Going back to the drawing board it became apparent to me that it wasn't equality that I was seeking anyway, it was respect. It was the piece of the equation that had been clearly missing from the beginning of our relationship. How could this have occurred I pondered. The only way it could have happened is because I let it happen. I excused the person's actions because I didn't care enough about me.
I never once said to the person, "If you can't treat me with respect please leave".
With this thought I went back into other relationships I have had and realized that if I had cared as much about myself as I did about the other person my entire life would have been a whole lot more respectful. Disrespect almost always breeds disrespect. Basically we have two choices in this kind of situation. We can allow the negativity to keep building until someone/something explodes or we can put a stop to the nonsense as soon as it shows its nasty head.
From this experience I hope I have finally learned to expect from and give to others respect right from the beginning of any new relationship.