Monday, March 5, 2012

Respect has left the building...

Respect denotes both a positive feeling of esteem for a person or other entity(such as a nation or a religion), and also specific actions and conductrepresentative of that esteem. Respect can be a specific feeling of regard for the actual qualities of the one respected (e.g., "I have great respect for her judgment"). It can also be conduct in accord with a specific ethic of respect. Rudeconduct is usually considered to indicate a lack of respect, disrespect, whereas actions that honor somebody or something indicate respect. Specific ethics of respect are of fundamental importance to various cultures. Respect for tradition and legitimate authority is identified by Jonathan Haidt as one of five fundamentalmoral values shared to a greater or lesser degree by different societies and individuals.[1]

Respect should not be confused with tolerance, since tolerance doesn't necessarily imply any positive feeling.

The antonym and opposite of respect is contempt.

This is for the ... your name here if you wish to be respected. I am not sure when respect died but I think it was somewhere between my teenage years and and those of my oldest children. I'm 43, and I have heard things said to parents or in ear shot of parents that I would not say in front of my mother to this day. Often when this topic comes up in conversation people say "Yeah, we would've been popped in the mouth." 

Personally , that wasn't the case in my family. I just never would've thought such things were ok to say in front of my parents or any other adult. It would've been disrespectful. I was raised, by a Mid-western, Army brat father and a essentially rurally raised "Southern" mother. You just didn't talk like that. Not that I didn't sneak some language in with my friends on occasion, but I didn't flaunt disobedience etc in front of elders.  (Kids, at least have the decency and yes, respect, to try and be sneaky about  breaking the rules. Don't flaunt and revel in it. I AM NOT ADVOCATING DISOBEDIENCE. I AM JUST SAYING THE ADDED LEVEL OF BRAZEN MAKES THE BAD EVEN WORSE, IN A SENSE.) But today is different. Respectful behavior is considered old fashioned and stifling of one's personality nowadays. I know I am officially old now that I have used that word.   

Not that the good old days were all good. I know better than that. But these days my youngest at 11 is being taught about ageism in school.(School: Please forgive me if the aforementioned child came up with this on his own. I love his school but this issue has me a little set off. He is a very good kid and we have a very good relationship. He tends to be quite respectful. (In real life terms, not just adjusted for deflation) But he has on a number of occasions mentioned that he doesn't like being treated like a kid or like he is less of a person because he is a kid. The implication in context was this. I should have all the rights of adulthood and should be treated as an equal even though I have not gained the knowledge and experience that comes with years of living on the planet.  

Let's get this on record. I DO NOT THINK THAT CHILDREN SHOULD BE TREATED AS PROPERTY OR ANYTHING ALONG THOSE LINES. But I do not believe that children know as much as they think the know or that they know everything they need to know to function in society. Don't get me wrong I OFTEN learn from all my children. MY real children not the soap opera. But there are things in life that are learned through the years and those years lived (well) should come with a degree of RESPECT. 

Who is to blame? TV, Media, Music (my industry), the education system and elders who have not lived well and earned respect (read as the 1960's), to name a few. What do the above say? Parents are idiots. (IF a parent has a clue it will be a small one and only the mother has a chance of having said clue. Who were the last parents on TV with a clue (AND respectful attitudes)? Probably the Huxtables... Look them up kids. SIGH!) 

Birth of the cancer?: On June 25, 1962, the Supreme Court stopped school prayer. The counter culture  was the public execution of God in our culture. (He's not actually dead. He's quite resilient.) At any rate, if there is no one to answer to, if God doesn't exist and so is not there to be respected it's all pretty much down hill from there. I am not going to thump anyone with my bible or anything like that. I am just saying mankind's desire to say "You're not the boss of me!" is a very, dangerous thing. 

(I am not saying the there are no respectful atheists or agnostics.   (One of my favorite people on the planet is agnostic, a very good man and hopefully going to enter this discussion... I miss talking with my friend of similar tastes, talents and values and mostly opposing political and religious views. I hope you read this. I miss talking with you my friend! Talk about disagreeing agreeably!) Nor am I saying that the "religious" have everything locked down respect wise or morally. There is no radar weak enough to let that fly under and I am not under the illusion that it is so. I have just come to the conclusion that our species has a craving for utter autonomy and utter moral autonomy is not the most worthy pursuit out there.

I could go on forever but I won't. The anti-respect culture is just the kind of thing that will bite itself in it's proverbial butt. Because if you don't believe in respect there is no reason for anyone to believe in respecting you.

1 comment:

  1. R-E-S-P-C-E-T found out what it means to me, R-E-S-P-E-C-T take care of T-C-B.....
    "History is full of instances of words which, after being written, lost their voice and became nouns to be etymologized, verbs to be parsed, adjectives to be admired, adverbs to be discussed. Scripture has never been exempt from that fate. Some of Jesus’ sharpest disagreements were with the scribes and Pharisees, the persons in the first century who knew the words of scripture well but heard the voice of God not at all. They had an extensive and meticulous knowledge of scripture. They revered it. They memorized it. They used it to regulate every detail of life. So why did Jesus excoriate them? Because the words were studied and not heard. For them, the scriptures had become a book to use, not a means by which to listen to God. They isolated the book from the divine act of speaking covenantal commands and gospel promises. They separated the book from the human act of hearing which would become believing, following, and loving. Printer's ink became embalming fluid."
    - Eugene H. Peterson
    Your blog is like water in the desert. Keep it flowing. El G. man (pero yo)


Please keep it civil. Disagreement does not have to be disagreeable. Thank you so much! I look forward to your input!