April 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
Where has all of the respect gone? During disappointing reflection and observation the past few days, I have noticed our society has somehow replaced respect for others with self-preservation. No longer do we set our personal issues, ideals, and self-loathing aside in order to give reverence to others in our presence. Sure we still stand and clap for a rock-n-roll band or the President, but giving our full attention and showing respect for those older, younger, and otherwise has become a lost art.
I could create a list a mile long of instances I have observed where wife disrespects husband, child disrespects parent, or customer disrespects employee, but I need not make that much of an effort when my own self has proved to be just as insolent. During meal time my phone has laid esteemed next to my plate while I stare into my food, giving no regards for the people across the table from me. Multiple times, and by no good excuse, I have interrupted someone speaking in order to free myself from my own unrestrained impatience. The waiter I ignored as my glass was filled, the man I did not thank when he held the door, the “how was your day?” that never got asked because I was too busy being consumed by my own – these are the regrettable instances that make me think even I, who was raised with high standards and good morals, has lost respect.
The excuses add up to equal one big self-consumed American. Society says it is my time – I can have it my way and done fast. I can eat, check hockey scores, calculate my caloric intake, tweet, and look over my calendar all over dinner. After a couple of days of observance, after watching myself miss opportunities to connect with human beings, after regarding people as being lower than my agenda, my emotions, my smart phone, I start to feel…well, gross.
Most of the time, the disrespect is happening when we do not realize. We are too rushed to thank the person holding the door for us or we are too busy to stop and hold the door for someone else. Respect has all but fallen off our radar. We can easily overlook our own eye rolling and harsh comments the first time, let alone the 20th time when it has now become a bad habit. It is time that we stop, mid-madness, to evaluate ourselves, to step out of our self-consumption, and show more respect.