Is for a little respect" like only Aretha could? I was a naïve teen in 1967 when that was released, and while the music and her voice made my feet automatically dance, it was the R-E-S-P-E-C-T that made me stop and think. The Viet Nam War, race riots, and protests were in full swing. Everyone wanted to be heard, and some decided the only way to be heard was through destruction. Cities were demoralized and parts like Detroit were even destroyed. Yet, there it was, Aretha's cry for RESPECT when it seemed there was no respect--anywhere! So what's my point?
Look around, don't you see it? Once again, there is no respect. No respect for property, for people, for your neighbor, for the elderly, for the science of this virus, or for family values. Life, has taken on an attitude of "My opinion is the only opinion, and if you don't like it, I will silence you!"
What? When did we lose respect for opinions that are different than ours? When did we lose respect for the work and energy people put into their small businesses? When did we lose respect for our elders who are in danger with the virus? Respect is the admiration or deep regard for the feelings of others, their traditions, their beliefs, their age, their right to speak, and their humanity. Wherever that is hiding right now, it needs to reemerge.
In the meantime, we need to remember that parents start teaching, and we start learning, about the importance of respect shortly after birth. We learn to give our seat to our elders, to listen to our parents, to say please and thank you, to excuse ourselves when we interrupt someone, to appreciate what we have, and to listen respectively to others. Those are the values we instill in our children.
As a writer, controversy offers abundant story ideas. Some are good and some are bad. However, as a human, controversy offers us a chance to demonstrate our respect for others. This may not be what some want to hear or read as the case may be, but a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T goes a long ways. Say it, hear it, write it, do it. We will all be better for it. Thanks Aretha!