Show a Little Respect

By: Barb F 

     How many of us have had a sing-along with Ms. Aretha when she is belting out one of her signature songs: R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

     We have all worked to overcome the challenge of earning respect from not only our employers but also partners, family, and friends – even if our beliefs or opinions are not all on the same page, or in some cases not even close. 

     But there is an old saying, “Respect has to be earned.” OK, I don’t think any of us would disagree with that in theory; so how do we earn that respect? Just as in earning a paycheck, we give our employer a physical or intellectual service, so in turn, for us to receive respect, let us give . . .respect!   

There is a wonderful line in the movie The American Presidents (1995): “America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship.” We have to be willing to respect beliefs or opinions that we do not agree within order to require those who hold them to show respect for ours in turn. As we learned in high school debate class: Do not make it personal or you have lost the debate!

     Do we fight against those whom we vehemently disagree with? Absolutely, with verified and sustainable facts, scientific proof, and continued support for eliminating centuries of social and moral discrimination against all humans.  But how can we make this a good fight?

   Let us march peacefully and respectfully. Let us write informed, logical, and respectful letters to our state and federal representatives. Let each one of us use our own unique abilities to support the advancement of all human rights.

  In short: Stand up for what you believe, fight at every opportunity against injustice, and don’t allow name calling or personal insults to keep you from being a strong and respectful person.