On Respect

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Aretha spells it: R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Merriam-Webster defines it:

  • a relation or reference to a particular thing or situation
  • remarks having respect to an earlier plan
  • an act of giving particular attention
  • the quality or state of being

A thesaurus provides substitute words: appreciates, considerate, dignity, honor, recognize, regard, courtesy, and more

The Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial Board writes it.

Respect, it would seem, is in incredibly short supply in America these days. Inappropriate actions, offensive and rude language and a general lack of manners are, unfortunately, becoming the norm. And increasingly, there seems to be little patience or respect for the diverse ideas or experiences of others.

America has become a nation of absolutists in love with their own perspectives and intolerant of differing ones. But what has always made this country great is its diversity of people and their opinions, ideas and culture. …

Respect for each other’s differing opinions and backgrounds opens the door for healthy dialogue as opposed to the often angry, back-and-forth that masquerades as conversation on social media.”

United States Air Force Lt. General John Silveria says it.

On Touching the Core

Who are you? Who am I? Not only how do we identify ourselves, but also, what identifies each of us?

I’ve embedded many videos on this pages during my blogging time, but some stick with me. They touch my core. They define who I am.

The European immigrants of the late 19th Century and the early 20th Century impacted the world. My paternal grandparents were in that group while my maternal family remained in Europe.

I believe the majority of the world is good. In a global environment when language can be a barrier, other things can link people – such as smiles, kindness, and respect. Blogging is has reinforced that to me, and so has Matt.

The ending of some movies cause a tear – yep, It’s a Wonderful Life does it, and so does this one.

Human behaviors are complex and quite wide-ranging. That given, there is a lot of bad in the world, but one cannot deny the power of I’m Sorry.

I believe universal creation is spectacular, and creation is ongoing. From our tiny perspective, the wonders of the universe are just for us. Whether Earth is home to the only life in the universe doesn’t matter to me, but nobody can deny this perspective.

Any favorites here? Are their videos that define you?

On MLK 2013

Courtesy of the American Anthropological Association

Courtesy of the American Anthropological Association

Monday (January 21, 2013) is Martin Luther King Day – a federal holiday (since 1986) in the US, which actually means a vacation day for federal employees.

States have the opportunity to declare a holiday for its employees – and most, if not all, have on this day. In my state of Ohio, local government/public groups have the option of declaring the day a holiday.

Private employers also have an option of exercising the holiday,but only a bit more than a third do. A small percentage of others offer this day as a floating-holiday option.

Whether one chooses or not, and no matter the occasion, holidays provide the opportunity to reflect. In other words, holidays are more than just a day off from work.

Dr. King’s work and the Civil Rights movement was huge news in the 1960s. Today, two factors dominate my mind: Yes, we as a society have come a long way – but we still have a long way to go. Let’s look at a some information that may seem disjointed, but there’s a relationship.

Barack Obama’s candidacy, election, and reelection sparked its share of racism, although many disguise it in other ways.

The Southern Poverty Law Center reports the number of hate groups has increased 69% since 2000.

An Associated Press survey (released 2012, in cooperation with researchers from Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Chicago), concludes that when measured by an implicit racial attitudes test, anti-Black sentiments increased to 56% in 2012.

Somewhere there is a city council member proudly stating their city does not recognize Martin Luther King Day as a holiday in the name of prudent fiscal management, while also pointing out there are no Blacks living in that city.

Whether professional, spiritual, or personal, reflection is a powerful tool that can drive personal change. I sincerely wish that race was irrelevant – unfortunately it isn’t – and maybe that day of irrelevance will come in the future. However, if it does, it will not be due of legislation, Supreme Court rulings, or any other civic action, but from personal reflection – after all, that’s what modifies individual behavior – but that will be have to done by a vast majority.

On MLK Day 2010

With today being Martin Luther King Day, I find it appropriate to set aside my Monday entertainment feature to reminder others of something of greater importance. While new watchers will see various clips featuring Dr. King, I decided to repost one of my favorite reports from 2009. May it serve as a reminder of how far we have come, but more importantly, how far we still have to go on the journey for a better tomorrow. May Dr. King’s dream become a reality.

On a similar note, I started reading Tim Valentine’s post sometime ago. Not only has he taught me a lot, he makes me think – so I invite you to not only read his MLK Day post, but visit him every day.

On Movies and Society

I have said for a long time that an artist’s work is a response to something in society of the times. Pick the media … Painting, sculptures, music, novels, poems, movies, and so … and the concept holds true. Take fear for instance. What would a painting about fear appear? How would music about fear sound? What would a poem about fear make you feel? On the other hand, what were Shakespeare, Beethoven, Rockwell, or Cervantes saying about society at their time through their art?

During the recent holiday, I saw several movies about society and human behavior. Each of these served as many commentaries about the multicultural America of today. Each of these had numerous examples that made me angry, proud, ashamed, joyous, and various other moods.

I think back to the early 1900s and the boat loads of immigrants who came to America with very little – yet came to seek freedom or opportunity. The many that came through immigration stations as Ellis Island as my grandparents did … and yes, even my mother. Many settled in common neighborhoods in cities, some of which still exist today. Although I did not live during that time, but I am sure these immigrants dealt with many prejudices.

Today the world is more mobile. Not only are immigrants still legally coming to America, many are from other cultures with whom we are less familiar. Whether by foot or by boat, illegal immigration today is a lightening rod topic that also causes people to stereotype.

I saw the following movies: The Blind Side, Crash, and Gran Torino. All interesting and well done – but even more intriguing when one sees them over several days. With that in mind, here’s an interesting report from ABC News.

PS: Thanks Tim for the video.