Looking for Respect…

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I have a high tolerance for media insanity.  However my tolerance is running thin. It now seems that name-calling back in the election of 2016 has become mild compared to this past week. We were appalled with “nasty women” and “deplorables” and now these words have little to no effect. One strategy used is to take away the power/pain of words is by normalizing them. So the media figures and voters alike decided they would not be offended by those names but now embrace them. Little did we realize that this name-calling would just be the beginning…

Remember when Hollywood and TV audiences alike were so offended by Ricky Gervais’s humor starting in 2010 (some of us are still offended;-)) But he did tweeted a reasonable question today:

“When did it become more fashionable to undermine and discredit someone who disagrees with you than to offer a reasoned and winning counter argument?”

 We have lost respect for an intellectual, thought-out, researched argument and now we accept the winner as the person who shocks you the most with their insults. Whoever has the better insult with the most supporters wins.

I hate getting political. I specifically created this blog to create positive and uplifting content and to get away from the world which seems politically focused and not human being focused. My ideas were to bring people together on all different sides to remember what decency and respect was.

I hate that we are so willing to look down upon those that think differently than us. We should take that time to listen. One of the worst sayings is “Respect is earned, not given”. NO! You should treat EVERYONE with respect, from the president to the homeless person.

One of my favorite examples of this was when my dad used to run summer camps. There were campers who had made some bad decisions at camp. Their punishment? Instead of spending time with the campers they had to walk around with him for the day. Chatting with him while he was checking on all the activities and running the camp. He would talk to them with RESPECT. 

Since then I have had several men (who are grown-up campers), who have come to me and asked me if I was indeed the daughter of the man who ran these camps. I would confirm – they would break down and tell me how horrible their family life had been and how they were on the wrong path but they would never forget the “day of punishment” they had to spend with my dad. They tell me how my dad changed their lives because he had treated them with respect (something they had never experienced before) and as a result they realized they were worth something. They realized they could do better. As a result they made better choices in their lives. 

Respect changes opinions and makes the world a better place. No one has ever changed their mind through being called names.

People these days are not surprised by name-calling, but what throws them is treating them with respect – even if they have caused offence.  Name calling is a way of dehumanizing others – it’s the beginning of war. A good example of this is Frida Gashumba’s account of genocide in Rwanda. Name calling in the media and political realm causes a theatrical environment:

In leading up to the first World War:

“The theatrical quality of the political world had become so patent that the theater could appear as the realm of reality.” – Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism

Giving others respect does not mean you have to trust, like, or even become friends with those you give respect to.  Respect gives basic human decency and acknowledges the rights of others. Acknowledging other’s rights – is one way we prevent the beginnings of war.

Get Hanna Arendt’s book The Origins of Totalitarianism  here

Get Frida Gashumba’s book on the Rwandan genocide called Frida: Chosen to Die, Destined to Live here

 

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