The Lost Art of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

I’m from the South. I was raised in the country. I say yes ma’am and no sir. I tend to call other Southern adults Ms. So And So or Mr. So And So. It’s just my way. I was taught this is a sign of respect and a way to acknowledge another person’s wisdom and your understanding of that. There are a few exceptions, but I have justifications for all of them and they mainly involve the other person’s level of comfort and general geographical location (e.g. folks from New York do NOT like to be called Mr. So and So). For the most part – if I meet you, you will be ma’am and/or sir and Ms. and/or Mr. until you tell me otherwise and maybe not even then if I just can’t manage to swing it. Like when people tell me I can leave my shoes on in their house. No. No I can’t. Your family walks on these floors and Lord knows what I stepped in on the way here. I will not leave my shoes on and track all that mess in your house and SHAME on anyone who does!

But I digress.


Southern Truth

I, and others like me, have been told that we should not do this in our professional life. That we should not say these things and call others ma’am and sir as it makes us look uneducated, juvenile and unworthy. What is wrong with this world? There is no reality in which you do not owe those who came before you your respect. There is no moment in time where it is okay to not show respect. It’s a lost art in my opinion. Showing respect does not equal weakness or unworthiness or even a lack of gumption. Showing respect is, if anything, a sign of strength and humility, which are qualities I hope we can all at least admit that we should admire. I don’t think our young people should enter the workplace under the assumption that they have to ‘outperform’ and ‘outshine’ to the point that respect is lost.

On a larger level, perhaps our lack of respect for one another is a cancer eating its way through our species. If history teaches us anything it’s that when we stop looking at people as people and start looking at them as a race or a religion or a culture or a belief, we fall apart and the chaos that is always knocking at our door bursts through leaving mass genocide and social inequality in its wake.

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’

They had the right idea – their world was just a little smaller then. Today, ‘all men’ might include a few more folks than they had in mind, but hear me now: learning to respect others from the time you’re young is something our entire world could use a little more of, yes Ma’am it is.

The Story of Love and Hate

Once upon a time, when the earth was new, there lived two sisters – Love and Hate. The moon gave them life and they made their home by the sea, watching the world as it grew around them. The sisters were mirror images of each other. Where Love’s hair was long and blonde, Hate’s short locks were dark as midnight. Hate’s striking eyes shone a brilliant blue, and Love’s soft-brown irises conveyed kindness and understanding to all they looked upon. The sisters were known far and wide to be the moon’s favorite creations.

One day while playing on the beach, the sisters met someone new. A boy named Hope. Hope was fickle with his affection and each sister began to feel strongly for him, but in the end, Hope was drawn only to Love. Love and Hate began to drift apart and Hate took to walking on the beach alone. On this faithful day, Hate came upon a sight that stopped her dead in her tracks. Love and Hope were wrapped in an embrace. Hate became so enraged that she grabbed a shell from the sea and began to slice Hope with gashes deep enough to split the flesh. In her rage, she turned on Love but Hope threw himself in front of Love, ensuring the shell cast a fatal blow across his neck. Crazed with grief, Love grabbed the shell and sliced her own throat, knowing she could never live without Love. The two lay dying at Hate’s feet – what had she done? She cried to the moon for help, but the moon did not answer and Love and Hope bled into the ocean.

Now Hate was alone. Without her sister. Without her love. She became bitter and unkind, blaming Love and Hope for her misery. She began searching the earth for anything left of them. From time to time she would happen upon their spirit, their remnants, and she would do everything in her power to ensure they never breathed life again. To this day, Hate roams the earth seeking her vengeance. She tries and tries and will never give up…

But what she will never understand is that Hate cannot kill Love, as long as Hope is there to protect it.

Love and Hate

Love and Hate