Throughout the history of man, we find that respect has been at the core of living in an orderly way. We site the “Golden Rule,” as the supreme mantra for human conduct-in showing respect.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
The duties and responsibilities of every human being to his fellow man being is addressed through-respect. As Christians, our order of respect begins at the top with the governing authority of Creator God. The Word of God tells us that God himself, delegates’ authority. We are to submit to those in authority. The tenor of how respect operates is significantly imprinted in the family unit. The Holy Bible speaks of “honoring thy father and thy mother,” and the reward of “respect,” long life is promised. A moral code that speaks to respecting or honoring parents is ancient to humanity because it sets the basis for human conduct and interactions with other people individually and collectively.
From the home a child goes to school and again, in this larger setting he/or she encounters the importance of respect. Respect for themselves, the respect for the teacher, and respect for classmates and everyone they may come into contact with. In classrooms across the country, the role of the teacher has changed to more of a facilitator. There are more components to learning than just a textbook-but respect and discipline still have a place in this setting. Social interaction and even teamwork requires respect in order to function optimally.
In the realm of politics, we hear words like “mutual respect,” but what does it mean really?
When President Obama was accused of degrading the presidency and the U.S. for bowing before an elderly Asian couple- head of state, he was derided. However, this is customary as a “show of respect.” Respect should be taught and practiced from early childhood, until it becomes a lifestyle.
Christopher Lasch, a very prolific writer suggested there should be a return to “old-fashioned middle-class morality.”
Mexicans in America want respect; Turks want respect; Israel wants respect; Blacks want respect. Everyone wants and needs respect. If fact, songstress Areatha Franklin wrote a song called-“Respect.” Politicians should show respect as well as sports figures should show respect-everywhere we look; we should see people giving and receiving respect.
There needs to be a reaffirmation to decent respect for the opinion and worth of every human being as of the same value as our own estimation of worth. The founding fathers found this premise of value and the greatness of the country was admired throughout the world. There is power and greatness yet to be realized, if we have not reached a point where we think we only deserve respect but we are not equally responsible for showing respect.
Fear of the consequences of not showing respect should be revisited. There is emotional trepidation generated when obedience or defiance occurs on one hand and the reward of obedience on the other hand.
Respect should begin in the home and from the home to the community and from the community to the world arena. Respect is needed in all the arena of our existence. After all, wars are fought because of lack of respect and recognition for the rights of others. A study was done called “A Status Report on Rudeness in America,” it involved 2,013 participants. Of those who participated, 79% said, lack of respect and courtesy should be regarded as a serious national problem. Nineteen percent said it should not be viewed as serious, given other issues facing society.
Sixty-two percent said that witnessing rude and disrespectful behavior bothered them but 41% percent confess to having acted in a rude and disrespectful manner themselves. This is alarming.
Respect is in short supply. Today, June 8, 2010- a former child actor, Gary Coleman died on June 7, 2010. It is reported that his wife was taking pictures of him as he died- to sell to the media, instead of trying to comfort him in his final moments of life. If there is no respect for life-where do we go from here?