A Nation Fighting for Respect


Every day we are morally outraged. We look with disbelief at the things we are seeing. We feel frightened, anxious, depressed, enraged, hatred, and bewildered at the world around us. This is not the world we grew up in, know of, and approve. We have been caught off guard by the politics that divide this nation, the nightly news, the fall out with friends and family, and the attacks on our views which we hold so dear. We are a nation eroding in many values, but none more noticeable than respect. We have lost the value of the human soul. It is what we fight for daily and it consumes our thoughts and emotions. We are a people who value people, their rights, and their dignity. Yet in fighting for the rights of people, we have begun to disrespect the very thing we fight for: the human soul.

We have resorted to name calling, belittling, cursing, lying, narcissistic displays, and offensive acts which show our disrespect. We have begun to prioritize some individuals over others. We take the moral high ground of superiority while spewing vile insults at those who oppose us. We disagree on important issues and our voices must be heard, but they need not be heard in such a disrespectful way. In fighting for the respect of the person we have failed to respect those in front of us, next to us, and from afar. We have decided that those who do not share our beliefs deserve our slander and disrespect. In fighting for the rights and dignity of people we have begun to disrespect others. We are going backwards in our fight.

I propose a few reasons for our current actions. In many ways we may have been disrespected. These occurrences are real and have been deeply felt. They have set a precedent whereby we feel justified in giving disrespect in return. This creates a vicious cycle where disrespect begets disrespect and the cycle continues. Another obvious reason is that our voices have been silenced or not heard. We begin to speak louder and more forcefully to be heard, even employing disrespectful means of communicating. Through our actions and words we each individually contribute to the way society looks. Therefore, we each need to put in effort to help change the culture we live in today.

The good news is that people are fighting for the respect of humans. We are roaring about the issues that face us today. We all feel the impact, and all are involved. This means there is hope for our society that it can change. There is hope for the divide that is across this nation. There is hope we can build a society that respects the rights and dignity of all people. This includes the respect of gender, minorities, sexuality, unborn children, religion, and the environment. We have a hope and a future as a country. As you reflect on the issue of respect, here are three questions to guide you.

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. How can I respectfully disagree with those I oppose or do not agree with?

Q2. How has my vocabulary continued the cycle of disrespect?

Q3. In what ways do I feel disrespected and what has it produced in my life?