On Respect

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On 2nd October I did a post On Respect, one that I featured a 5-minute speech by a USAF Lt. General. Reactions to the post were positive in many ways with several comments mentioning that respect starts at the top.

Yes – respect starts at the top of each family teaching others the meaning of respect while modeling respectful behaviors.

Yes – respect starts at the top in every school classroom with its teacher leading the way.

Yes – respect starts at the top in every school building with its principal dealing with the staff and students.

Yes – respect starts at the top in every school district with top leadership in their dealing with the district staff and the community it serves.

Yes – respect starts at the top of every group, department, section, division, and headquarter of every corporation across the world.

Yes – respect starts at the top of every customer service organization as it deals with the public it serves.

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Yes – respect starts at the top of every local, state, and national government entity on how it deals with its constituents and opponents.

Yes – respects at the top, and President Trump displays more disrespect than any American leader in my lifetime. He’s a pathetic role model, but he is not a reason to disrespect nor he is the cause of disrespect.

Yes – respect starts at the top for individuals in every human encounter regardless of background, position, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, skin color, and more.

Yes – respect starts at the top when one says Respect your elders – but that doesn’t give the elders the right to disrespect – nor does elder status command automatic respect.

Yes – respect starts at the top of every human encounter – but “the customer is always right” doesn’t mean the customer can be disrespectful to customer service employees.

Yes – respect starts at the top – but there are many tops, and each of us are top in many situations.

Yes – respect starts at the top – and each of us are at the top – Respect starts with yourself, then one can respect others.

Yes – respect start at the top of each individual – in the head containing a brain – the center of all choices each person makes in personal and cyber encounters.

A person is a person – no matter how small. (Dr. Seuss)

On Responsibility

Since Arnold Swartzenegger, Anthony Weiner, and pundits on the campaign trail mention responsibility in recent announcements, here is a short bit on this interesting word.

Responsibility: A particular burden of obligation upon one who is responsible (answerable or accountable, as for something within one’s power, control, or management) (American Heritage Dictionary)

Responsibility: The quality or state of being responsible –as a moral, legal, or mental accountability, liable to be called to account as the primary cause (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

Our elected officials do not seem to have a handle on neither responsible government nor governing with responsibility. Whether the inability to make a strong, good-for-the-country based decision is due to fright, lack of guts, selfish preservation, or any other inadequate reason, our elected officials are an embarrassment for their lack of responsibility and continual commitment to their party’s supply chain and their re-election. As I have stated before, politicians are first, foremost, and possibly only about their party – thus, is there any surprise at Washington’s continual failure to handle responsibly the key issues of our times?

I recently found two interesting columns focusing on responsibility. The first (from NPR) looks at Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and his recent snafu. In the other column (in USA Today), Jonah Greenburg offers no solutions, but examines the big picture. His last paragraph is loaded.

More and more, it seems as if our politicians want to be the divorced parent who only visits on weekends to do the fun stuff: Give out goodies, go to the movies, enjoy pony rides and ice cream cake, while expecting somebody else to be the tough parent who has to deal with the costs and the consequences. That is a natural human desire, particularly for politicians, a breed of professionals who have an unhealthy need to be liked. The problem is, that’s not what they’re being paid to do.

Swartzenegger and Weiner taint the work and credibility of many politicians. Nonetheless, maybe acting responsibly is expecting too much, especially in light of important topics as debt ceiling, defense, education, government spending, health care, jobs, Medicare, military engagements, revenue enhancement, and Social Security. Since we elect these officials and most seeking re-election most commonly win again, maybe we the people are getting exactly what we deserve.

On Responsibility

Since President Obama’s inaugural speech centered on a “new era of responsibility”, it’s time to get to the point.

To President Obama: As Rev. Watkins said at the National Prayer Service, (and I paraphrase): The ethical center is our bedrock of hope, yet situations will draw you away from your ethical center.  So it’s your responsibility to lead us so we may follow by your example.

To Banks: As our economic foundation, you made some lousy choices, and the country pays. We paid to stabilize the foundation and get credit flowing again. Yet, it seems credit is still tight and your industry is still struggling. Let’s return to the old days when banks gave loans to people and people rob banks; not the opposite. 

If you didn’t read Thomas Friedman’s Time for (Self) Shock Therapy this week about banks, this is a good one.

Responsibility carries burdens and responsibilities for one’s own action. Did you hear that Congress?

To Republicans: You proudly thump your chest as champions for fiscal restraint, yet you grossly failed to accept fiscal responsibility from 2001-2006. To the GOP I say, since you didn’t practice what you preach, use caution when blaming the other party and throwing roadblocks.

To Democrats: You are the Capitol Hill majority and occupy the White House, but can you listen? Can you govern to the will of the people? Can you serve the people over your own special interests? Can you find common ground with the GOP in order to give us bipartisan solutions? You’re actions will be watched and you will be held responsible.

To Voters: Congress has a very low approval rating, yet we support the majority seeking re-election. Given this “they’re bad, but not mine” attitude, is Congress really the problem? Are we getting exactly what we deserve? Yes voters, we too have to accept the responsibility of our actions too.