According to Learning Mind, there are three basic instincts that drive human behavior: Sexual Instinct: the force behind procreation, and igniter of the flames to an unquenchable desire. Self-Preservation, also a shared basic instinct with animals, acts as a natural alarm system, which triggers a fight or flight response. It also maintains control of our most primal need: to feed

mating stink bugs

Mating Stink Bugs by melvynyeo

Social instinct, however we do not share with any other species. It lives inside our hearts and souls; the humanity that strokes civil, peaceful and forward thinking. But its most important resident, has gone MIA, and for those who have noticed, it is what the world needs most right now: Respect, at least in theory.



Doomed Romance
courtesy of Purple Planet


by Kendall F. Person

On the south side of town, of any city, anywhere – a crime is about to happen. There is nothing anyone can do to stop it, poetry in its darkest form, has been activated and is moving in slow motion. The future perpetrators of the crime are currently unaware, that their lives are about to change, drastically to despair. On the far end of the same city, a hero is in the making. This too is inevitable, yet he will never know, of the pedestal that will bare his name.

No tension fills the air, nor are any damsels in distress. The weather is not a factor. Winter has broken long ago and the burning rays of summer’s sun, are still weeks away. A few clouds dot the sky, but the richness of the blue has caught nearly everyone’s eye, blanketing the mid-sized city with calm, yet only a very few have taken time to notice, the beauty that surrounds.


Every custom and civilization, that there ever was; and every form of social engagement, of human interaction, of friendship, of love, evolve around a single word. Think for a moment, or as long as it takes. Strip passed the aftermath and do not dwell on the battle itself. We are searching for the absolute core, not the branches that grew as tempers flared, nor the distorted version, that we so often tell, but truth. We like or need to feel justified, as opposed to owning the mistakes we make. And the nerve, we sometimes become angry, at the person who was simply unraveling the mess we made. We avoid knowledge for fear it may alter our thought, and we hide our faults and imperfections, as if  we should be viewed as perfect, yet still sing praises to a Higher Power. The irony may be missed, but the contradictions, we simply absolve.

Think of everytime we kept our cool, pondering the effects on others, rather than giving in to a selfish nature, and thinking only of ourselves. Think of the happy times or those with the least aggression, and how we made friends with a certain neighbor, even though the entire community thought he were crazy. No fairy tales or make-believe, unless spinning tales of fiction, there are times indeed, when people we meet, will never engage on a calm and peaceful level, but exceptions to the rule are omitted, at least for this demonstration. In most cases, in many places, on nearly every occasion, if we give respect, it shall be returned. And even if we do not walk away as friends, in a de-escalation, we walk away with dignity and our lives.


Showing Respect

A middle aged woman, on the south side – of any city, of anywhere – knew she received a text message by the sound of her phone. The traffic light was red when she looked down, but she lost herself in the texts, upon discovering her boyfriend was a lying, cheating, disrespectful son-of-a-bitch. So absorbed in the petty gossip, the green light came and went, and she failed to realize, that the honkers behind her, were honking at her.

On the north end, an elderly, homeless woman, mistaken for delusional, but lived in her right mind, sat on a bus stop bench, invisible to all. Approaching, then walking passed, a middle-aged man was texting furiously on his phone, attempting to calm a storm, spawned from the disrespect of lies. Engrossed in a meaningless exchange, in ruins of a perfect day, he held on to humanity, nodding with a gentle smile toward the homeless woman in a demonstration of respect, for she was the age of his mother. The brief encounter was all it took. The elderly woman stared after him, a hero he would always be. In more than 3 years, the first person to smile at her, gave her back her dignity.


Equality (cover) by Adam Marcucci

Equality (cover) by Adam Marcucci

Respect is all we really want. It is all we can hope for and all we can ask. It makes us feel better about who we are, and that we matter. It makes us visible, even if we are hungry and not a penny in our pocket. It gives us strength and the courage we need to build upon a legacy or to maintain the status quo. It makes us feel warm and safe, when our friends, partners and spouses, give respect, in not violating our trust.

Nod your head, respond with Hi hold the door open and do not profile. To give freely, that which costs us nothing, reaps abundance in return. Demonstrate respect in communication, show respect of time, bow to respect of dreams, accept respect of responsibility. Respect beliefs, respect communities. Respect authority, respect our leaders, who we voted in. Bunch of freeloaders, as it turns out, doing nothing for the people, then respect the power of the vote and throw the cowards out. Six billion people live in our global world. We will never all agree, and we will not all be friends. We may not feel love’s passion, and we will never worship the same God, but we can respect one another, and if our demonstration stands correct, than at least some of our future problems, have already been solved.

But stripped of respect, robbed of dignity, then we are left to a savage self, an unfeeling being, devoid of empathy with the-world-revolves-around-me perception.


Social Instinct not in play

When the middle-aged woman felt fists pound on her window, and as enraged as she was, had she demonstrated respect, snapped out of her trance and halted the useless rant, her freedom, she would not have lost. Instead, she turned in a violent reaction, toward the pounder, and flipped her the bird, then completed the performance by screaming obscenities. But she picked the wrong day, on the wrong side of town, and the worse possible one. For the pounder on the window, decided two days ago, when her boyfriend slapped her face – after an intense session of savage, impassionate sex – that she had been disrespected for the very last time.

Two total strangers, bypassed friendship altogether, now adversaries they become.

Name calling escalated, but only one punch was thrown. The pounder of the window, nearly pounded in her skull. Flight was the only option, for a fight she was destined to lose. No respect for the safety of others, like her boyfriend lacked for het. Internally, self-preservation defeated social instinct, in a non-existent bout, but should have been an epic battle. Though the light was clearly red, and crosswalkers had stepped off the curb, she put the pedal to the medal, crashing into a baby carriage: killing occupant and mother. 

Question: Do you have a plan or a tested strategy, to de-escalate a situation, where violence is becoming eminent? The community forum is now open. 


this is… The Neighborhood
Season Six – The Search for the Butterfly


catch & release


  1. Pingback: Respect pt 2 – Auntie Starshine's Influence Project

  2. Okay, so you were reading my mind. I sat down to write about the same thing. I will regroup and continue my with my intentions. I always enjoy your writing. Thanks for being on the same wavelength.

    Liked by 1 person

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