I preface this piece with a note that what you are about to read may be a tad preachy. I tell you this out of respect for you.
Respect your elders.
Respect isn't just given out.
We have all known this word forever, and yet it's meaning, and the line it draws in the sand isn't so clear. While some feel respect is automatic, others think it has to be earned. The one thing we all agree upon is that respect is real. I believe it's a moving target that we all aim for, and sometimes we hit it and other times we miss. These are those times of totally missing.
I am angered by the general lack of respect that we have in our populous. The ever-widening gap of this lack of respect for those we know and complete strangers is a hidden pandemic. Our history of callousness towards each other and the world we live in has now borne its fruit. We took our marbles and went home, and now we're forced to stay home. Reflection is upon us.
Here are some of the ways we have a lack of respect. Common courtesy, healthcare, racism, terrorism, classism, global warming, and the list could go on. Where did we go astray, respectfully?
“I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.”
Even now, as we are re-venturing into our world, isolation should have allowed us time to reflect on how we, humans, positioned ourselves in the world. Prior to our lockdown, we faced devastating CO2 levels and a meltdown that was going to be irreversible. A crisis arises to make us correct course, even if by happenstance, or not.
Still, we cannot see that there may be a greater force trying to help us from hurling ourselves toward our end. Not God. It's our planet. It was here long before we took our first steps on it, and it has the power to remove us at any time. Respectfully, it has been sending us warning shots, and we, collectively, have chosen to ignore them. Horrific weather, earthquakes, pandemics, why aren't we respecting the warnings? For those who think this may be a bit far-fetched, I ask for your explanation.
Let's turn now to the reflection part. As humankind, we have been forced to stay home, stay apart, and attempt to stay safe. Throughout this isolation, why haven't we taken a looked at how we got here and where we're going? It doesn't matter if you believe or don't believe in the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of our kind have died in a blink of an eye. This should give us pause to reflect.
"Civilization is a method of living, an attitude of equal respect for all."
Instead, we have chosen to dig our heels in and battle each other. From conspiracy theorists, to flat-earthers, to scientists, to the plain Joe not on the street, we need to see that divided we will fall. So, let's give each other the respect of our opinions and reflect enough to realize that we must put those differences on hold if we don't want to follow the dinosaurs' path.
"Respecting others’ opinions doesn’t mean being untrue to our own."
-P. M. Forni
If you found this preachy or disagree with this piece, I respect your difference of opinion and welcome your thoughts. I only ask that you reflect on your response and be respectful.
"Writing is the flow of life through words on a page. We all have this talent to share." Luca DiMatteo