“When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: ‘Whose?’” – Don Marquis

Monday, February 23, 2015

Whatever Happened to RESPECT?

Growing up, I was taught to respect others--even others with viewpoints different from my own.

I was taught to respect elders. Always saying "sir" and "ma'am". "Yes, sir!" "No Ma'am." I was taught to listen to them, respect their experience, open my mind to their insights.

I was taught to respect authority. From police to pastor to president, people in positions of authority were to be looked up to, listened to, even obeyed.

I was taught to respect females. No honking the horn in the driveway to pick up a date. "If you respect her and really like her, you'll go to the door to get her and walk her to the car." And, of course, walk her to the door at the end of a date. I was taught to open car doors for females, although this sign of respect has gone the way of crystal radios. I was taught to respect the word "no".

I was taught to listen respectfully, even to ideas and opinions I disagreed with. To look for the "grain of truth" and seek empathy in order to understand opposing views. Then, when it was my turn, make my argument with equal voice.

I am not sure what has happened. But, I see and hear very little respect for elders, people in authority, women, and those with different viewpoints today. I see online comments that are at minimum disrespectful and often even vulgar.  I think part of the problem is the anonymity of electronic communications. It is pretty easy to rant and rave, call people or groups names, use profanity, and denegrate when doing it with a keyboard to someone you have no physical or emotional connection too. Would people be as disrespectful if they were made to voice their disrespect face-to-face? To someone they've had a chance to get to know, even through a brief personal conversation? 

Respecting a person or group of people does not mean you agree with them. It just means you recognize their right to their position/opinion/idea, and disagree. Respectfully.

Tags:  thoughts
Posted under: Stuff You Gotta Know! • by Rick on 02/23/2015 at 02:03 PM
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