"Men are respectable only as they respect" - Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Have you ever received an email or a post on your Facebook wall that you delete immediately due to its rudeness or disrespectfulness to someone?
I, for one, don't like any type of communications (including letters to the editor) that are disrespectful to anyone. It doesn't matter if I like or dislike the person or what they stand for. I have a strong distaste for disrespect and very little use for people who are disrespectful.
I remember as a teenager when my mom and dad were huge supporters of one of the candidates for president. Unfortunately (for them), their guy did not win. When the day came for the swearing-in of the man who had won, my parents sat in front of the television to watch. They made very nice comments about the ceremony and seemed genuinely proud of the president and his wife.
I was a bit confused and asked why they were watching the "bad guy" enjoy his win. In a scolding tone of voice, they very quickly pointed out that he was not the bad guy. They explained that he was now the president of the United States of America, which made him their president. They said that the newly sworn-in president had earned the title and the respect fair and square. Their belief is that it is important to respect the institution, even if you may not always agree with the occupant.
That was a sign of my parents' education - manners, patriotism and respect.
What most people fail to realize is this: When you are disrespectful toward an individual (whether it is the president of the United States, a teacher at your child's school or the lady who waits on you at the grocery store), you say far more about yourself than you do them, and none of it is good.
"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being" - Jackie Robinson.
None of us will agree with everything anyone does or says. I'm not saying that we don't have the right to express our opinions. Many brave men and women died to provide us with that right. All I'm saying is this: There is a difference between stating your opinion and being downright nasty and disrespectful.
"If the traditional R's (reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic) are the basics that we want our children to master academically, then reverence, respect and responsibility are the three R's that our children need to master for the sake of their souls and the health of the world" - Zoe Weil, "Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times."
It is important to treat people of all ages with respect. We are the role models for the future of our nation. As I pointed out before, the respect you show toward others says a lot more about your manners, your culture, your character, your breeding and your nature than it does the other person's.
You cannot give disrespect and expect respect to flow toward you. Neither can you hold on to your biases, prejudices and negative thinking toward something and expect that something positive will return to you.