Sunday, June 26, 2011

Give me Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Find out what it means to me. Thank you Aretha.

All joking aside, the word RESPECT is something that has lost its punch in all aspects of this great land, besides for one place at least in my mind and that is the military.  In my mind, from what I have read and seen the military still has that order of RESPECT for their ranking officers, no where else can that be seen anymore.  Not in homes, not in public service jobs, not in Volunteer Agencies where there are officers and most definitely not in society in general.
Reason why I bring this up tonight is because of again multiple examples I have seen in recent days in my life.  From work, to friends, to where I volunteer I have seen such examples of lack of RESPECT that it is just incredible.  

In the workplace, I don't know if it's just me and my old school ways, but people who hold the titles of managers and senior managers or are just above of you in the workplace whether it be in years of experience or their title deserve RESPECT from the people below them even if the people below them are not great fans of them, they still deserve that RESPECT from them.  Friday while doing my thing at work, the senior manager came over to the other side from where I was working and was talking to the guys there asking why they did something.  Once they finished explained what happened and the senior manager stated his piece, he stood around for a while longer, and at that time one of my co-workers started saying to him "If you are done here, you can leave now," and he repeatedly kept telling him this.  Finally my senior manager stated "Today is not the day to mess with me" and just walked away.  Now I am still fairly new at my place of work, but if that interaction had gone down in the corporate office setting that co-worker of mine probably would have been written up or even better let go because of his disrespect for my senior manager.  I understand not everyone has to like each other and be friendly but if a person holds a ranking position above you that means that they typically (not always that's for sure) have done something to gain the respect of the upper echelon to receive that promotion, so it should go without saying they deserve some RESPECT.  I do feel that treating people as you want to be treated is an unwritten rule everyone should go by, and it for sure is the leading viewpoint and characteristic to which I lead my life, and I know for sure this senior manager has a reputation that is not well-liked because he is a hard-nosed leader, but still talking to a boss like that is unacceptable.
Officers of volunteer organizations hold positions because they have opted to give up their time to try to help the organization further itself along.  Very commonly these people run unopposed during elections because not many people care about anything more than themselves, but still that does not mean these people do not deserve RESPECT, in reality that should increase the level of RESPECT these people deserve.  Where I volunteer my time as an EMT, the officers of my volunteer organization are constantly being scrutinized or disrespected by the same members of the organization and it is quite frustrating to see.  The way our fine society has made us today those of us who want to do the right thing are stuck in between a rock and a hard place reason being is as follows:

On one side if a person stands up to those disrespecting the officers then that person taking the stand will more than likely be written up by the one doing the disrespecting, or the one disrespecting will make fun of the person standing up and thus talk about that person behind their back saying "Oh this guy is a jerk, he thinks he's an officer or he's favoring x y or z officer or he's friends with this person, that's why he's standing up for them" or they risk loosing a relationship with the person being the "Bully."

On the other side, if no one says anything no corrective or disciplinary action will be taken thus the person who is being disrespectful and talking negative about people who have stepped up to the plate will continue to disrespect.  

Where is the middle ground? That is the question I am asking, how can someone do the right thing and not be scrutinized or ridiculed for it?

What irks me the most is lack of RESPECT between people.  Lady Gaga says it best in two songs off of her recently released "Born This Way" Album: "Born this Way" and "Hair."  In the song "Born This Way," sings "No matter gay, straight, or bi, Lesbian, transgendered life, I'm on the right track baby, I was born to survive, No matter black, white or beige, Chola or orient made, I'm on the right track baby, I was born to be brave, I'm beautiful in my way, 'cause God makes no mistakes, I'm on the right track baby I was born this way, Don't hide yourself in regret Just love yourself and you're set, I'm on the right track baby, I was born this way."  In the song "Hair," she sings "I just wanna be myself, And I want you to love me for who I am I just wanna be myself, And I want you to know, I am my Hair, I’ve had enough This is my prayer, That I’ll die living just as free as my hair, I’ve had enough This is my prayer That I’ll die living just as free as my hair, I’ve had enough I’m not a freak I must keep fighting to stay cool on the streets I’ve had enough, enough, enough And this is my prayer, I swear I’m as free as my hair." 

I'll come back to Gaga's lyrics in a bit, but just tonight, and what actually sparked me to write this post, I was speaking with a friend of mine and was being told of the great amount of disrespect this person received this weekend from members of the opposite sex.  They did not see this person as a person or someone who had feelings or someone's friend but rather as an object something they could play with and not worry about come the next day.  I am no activist for rights or anything like this, but to hear of people thinking of members of the opposite sex as objects and wanting to do things with them because they are attractive and not because they have a connection between them is just incredible.  How can we as humans go about treating each other as not having feelings but just as being physical objects that give us pleasure or bring retaliation to our Exs' for actions they have done to us.  Remember when they did it to you and how you felt when you found out, yeah I know you want them to feel that same exact pain you felt, but DAGNAMIT for once in your life take the high road for goodness sake and be the bigger person.  More commonly than not, us men do objectify women and I am not saying I don't do this because I do in more subtle ways than normal, but to get back to the point to treat a woman like something that can be used and abused and left on the street once you have had enough is just absurd.  They deserve, and you ladies, should DEMAND the same level of RESPECT, if not more from the men around you because you are a person too and at one time you know we men did have to show much more RESPECT than we do today to the women around us.  We did have to hold the door open and let them enter a building first, we did have to stand behind them in line, or we did have to have respect for their parents before we could move on to becoming more than a date to them.  

Enough of that soap box, to get back to Gaga's lyrics she says it right, she says it all "We are all beautiful in our own way" and "We are as free as our hair that blows in the mid-summer's night wind." She is most definitely doing the right thing by trying so so hard to get the people who listen to her music to realize there is such a need for RESPECT to re-enter our lives that it's quite remarkable how off course we have become.  Time and time again we don't respect one another and more often than not we don't respect people of different races or creeds or sexualities.  Again I am guilty of this judgement as well at times, but when it comes to face to face reactions you NEVER EVER KNOW when you may need that person to come to your aid so why not treat them with RESPECT. 

RESPECT something that was at the core of my high school education and at the core of my up-bringing and makes me who I am today.  It is something that is lacking greatly at home today.  I could go on and on about that aspect but I won't.  What I will say is I am grateful for all of the great lessons I was taught about respect and hope to continue to show that RESPECT to everyone who I meet.  Lets try to bring it back to our everyday lives whether in between our friends, our co-workers, our officers, but more importantly it starts with ourselves.  Show ourselves RESPECT and hopefully it will emanate out beyond ourselves to those around us.  

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