Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Aretha had it right. We all need respect - for each other, our surroundings, and of course, most importantly: ourselves.

(This brilliant deduction came to me in the shower, the birthplace of all great deductions, starting with Archimedes. While my words in the shower were much more eloquent, they slipped from my brain like the drips of water falling from my body as I exited.)

The Reader's Digest version of what I wanted to say is that it seems for the most part respect has disappeared from our society. It doesn't take a Representative from South Carolina yelling out at the President during a televised speech to make it obvious.

Living in one of the birthplaces of the American Revolution, I was recently reminded that our fore-fathers may not have always agreed or even liked each other outside of the rooms in which heated discussions were held, but they most often interacted respectfully towards each other and the common goal they were gathered to discuss. This respect was a huge part in allowing them to come to a consensus which finally led to our Declaration of Independence from England. Had they been unable to come to a cordial agreement, I might be typing this in German or French, or as a subject of the Queen.

It seems to me that if you don't have respect for yourself you have no way to find or understand the need for respect for others (positions, lives, property, etc.).

The more I ponder the question of how and why respect has disappeared from our society, the more certain I am that there is no simple answer, no easy way to return from this trend.

There's so much more I want to say, and so much I've deleted as being too finger-pointy without following my own argument to respect others or because I've realized I don't know enough about the subject to present a fair argument. I'm certain that there are enough threads to follow that it would be easy to turn this thought into a seriously in-depth research project before I knew where I was. (Gee, why couldn't I have had this brilliant thought back in high school or college when I struggled to come up with research paper topics?)

What do you think? Have we as a nation lost respect for each other for the most part, or are we mostly doing okay and I'm just a negative Nellie seeing only the bad parts?


  1. Great post! I think a generalized lack of respect could well indeed be the cause of much of the vitriol surrounding discussions about our country. It's not just a lack of respect for each other and our leaders, though.

    We, as citizens, are not respected. Our leaders have gotten into the nasty habit of supposing we don't know what's good for ourselves, that we're not informed enough to make decisions, and as a result we've lost many of the civil liberties and freedoms that our founding fathers worked toward.

    It's a lack of respect on both sides, in my opinion.

  2. Parsing - You are correct. I think the FF would be shocked at what we (the people) have allowed to happen with the government.