Respect

Written June 10, 2017

“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.” ~Jackie Robinson

“Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it. Not as a reflection of their character but of yours.” ~Dave Willis

How many times have you had someone disrespect you in some way? Maybe someone talked a bunch of “stuff” behind your back or said something rude to your face? We all have had someone disrespect us in some way at different times in our lives. Here’s the real kicker. How many times have you disrespected that person back? Maybe you said some “stuff” back in retaliation to what that person said. Or maybe because that person called you some derogatory name, you said something derogatory back to that person.

I’m sure by now many of you have either heard the term “Campus Craziness” or have heard about protests on campuses lately, some of them even violent. Other things have happened on college campuses like the creation of safe spaces, kids walking out of commencement speeches and booing or heckling speakers who do come to speak. A lot of times the protests against the speaker’s turn violent causing the speaking events to be cancelled as you may have seen in the news.

Perhaps the worst thing that’s happened is that speaking events have been shut down by kids exercising their 1st Amendment rights to protest the speaker who is due to speak who is also is exerting their 1st Amendment right to speak. These speakers have different views than a lot of the students. Their speeches are typically viewed by some as controversial.

Instead of quietly walking out or not attending these kids accuse these speakers of being racist, feminist, misogynist and whatever “ist” word in the dictionary. Even the words “White Power” are being thrown around. And instead of peacefully protesting, they are frequently violent and end up rioting…just like the adults they see doing it. I’m sure not all college campuses are like this but for the ones who are, this is a total lack of respect for the speaker that is ultimately shut down.

Basically, a lot of what we are seeing on college campuses from the east to the west coast is what goes on in the streets of Any City/Town, Any State USA Our next generation is learning from us, the adults. Our rage is filtering down to our college kids, our high school kids and even down to our elementary kids.

I’ve learned that there are many things that change from one generation to the next. Things like music, clothing fashions, and even language change with each new generation. Things like principles, morals, and values do not. Respect is one of those things. My question is this, what happened to common courtesy and basic respect for another human being? Is respect for another person, for all life and even for oneself not taught anymore? “Respect is earned, not given” might be an answer you would hear. Yes, while this may be true, someone needs to be respectful first.

While researching more on respect, I came upon numerous – and I do mean numerous – articles on respect and it’s importance. In life we need to have respect for another person, for all life and even for ourselves, if even at the very basic level. Respect for our Elders even if we think we know better than them, we need to remember that they’ve experienced more of life than we have. Respect for others because, despite our list of diversities, we are all the same under our skin. We not only have the same internal organs but we also have the right to live life to its fullest.

Finally, we all need to have respect for ourselves because if we don’t respect ourselves how can anyone respect us? When we respect ourselves for who we are and what we’ve done or not done in life, we are essentially being humble. We realize we are no better and no worse than anyone else. We accept our sins of the past for what they are – lessons of our past.

Thought for the day: Perhaps nobody says it better than The Staple Singers in their 1971 song, “Respect Yourself”

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

“Respect Yourself”

By The Staple Singers

1971

If you disrespect anybody
That you run in to
How in the world do you think
Anybody’s s’posed to respect you

If you don’t give a heck ’bout the man
With the Bible in his hand
Just get out the way
And let the gentle man do his thing

You the kind of gentleman
That want everything your way
Take the sheet off your face, boy
It’s a brand new day

Respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don’t respect yourself
Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself

If you’re walking ’round
Think’n that the world
Owes you something
‘Cause you’re here

You goin’ out
The world backwards
Like you did
When you first come here

Keep talkin’ ’bout the president
Won’t stop air pollution
Put your hand on your mouth
When you cough, that’ll help the solution

Oh, you curse.. around women folk
And you don’t even know their names
And you dumb enough to think
That’ll make you a big ol man

Respect yourself, respect yourself
If you don’t respect yourself
Ain’t nobody gonna give a good cahoot, na na na na
Respect yourself, respect yourself
Respect yourself, respect yourself

***Please be sure to read more of my posts

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