Dear -,

What is about you that invites the respect, indulgence and patronage of others? You use curse words with everyone – especially your mother and sisters. You are arrogant, too-full-of-yourself, over-confident, careless, untidy, uncaring and irresponsible. You are everything that I am not or will ever want to me.

Yet you get respect from the same people who blatantly abuse and disrespect me. I’m good to these people, I take care of them, I wait for them, I’m polite and caring and respectful. I do things that they feel will add value to their lives.

Yet they get away with disrespecting me. And abusing me.

How? Why? What makes you more respectable than me? What makes your dreams and goals more important and valuable than mine? Because you shout too loud and are ready aggressive and violent in your language and stature? Is that what it takes to be “respected” now?

I know it doesn’t. I know I am expecting something from those I can’t receive. The problem is expectations.

How does it feel to use me – you know – just use me? Like you would use water to wash hands. Or use the road to get from point A to point B? Just how does it feel to use someone? Powerful? Superior? Smart?

I don’t know. I want to know. Please tell me.

So you find yourself at the subway
With your world in a bag by your side
And all at once it seemed like a good way
You realize it’s the end of the line
For what it’s worth

Here comes the train upon the track
And there goes the pain it cuts to black
Are you ready for the last act?
To take a step you can’t take back

Taken all the punches you could take
Took ’em all right on the chin
Now the camel’s back is breaking again, again
For what it’s worth

— Keira Knightley, “Begin Again”

What is the utility of a human being? Which beings are useful to us…and who are not? How do the utility of a person affect how we treat them… Or respect them or not? Whyndo we define the utilitarian value of a human being to us?

Why are some people useful but still deserving of our abuse and mistreatment and dishonour? What cognitive system can we use to make such judgements?