Thursday, June 25, 2009

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

My question for you today is this, do you think that respect has gone the way of the dinosaur?

My generation (the baby boomers) were the ones who declared, "Anything goes". I was never along on that ride. In my book anything DOES NOT go and this is something I tried to instill in my children.

Respect your elders. Yes, accord your elders some respect.

Respect your spouse. Oh, this is a big one. I see so many people disrespecting their spouse. They find themselves amazed when the relationship hits the rocks. The Farmer has been an awesome provider and father to his children. You gotta love a man who takes his responsibilities seriously. This earns respect.

Respect others. This is HUGE. I'm appalled at public behavior. We were taught that nice matters and I've learn in life that being nice and respectful of others will make life so much easier.

I can't remember if we were rude as teenagers. Were we? I don't think so because we had that mental loop playing where my mom would call us up short if we were misbehaving. I don't ever remember engaging in the rude behavior I witness on a daily basis. My mother would have slapped us silly.

Respect privacy. Keep some things private. Keep alot of things private. I'm totally creeped out by the habit of laying everything out there. I read a few blogs that left me picking my jaw up off the floor. One woman sliced and diced her in-laws on a daily basis and her husband too! She's making lots of advertising money airing conversations that are best left unsaid. What are her children learning? Everything and everybody are fair game.

I say no.

I say that you can be interesting and funny without disrespecting people.

Years ago there was a neighbor who brought her children into the house late in the afternoon. She'd bathe them and dress them in clean clothes, comb their hair and get them ready for when their father returned home from work. It made an impression on me. I can't say why. It was difficult for her, in her busy day, to take the time to engage in this ritual but I saw it as a sign of respect for the man who was providing for her and her children.

But we're liberated. We can take care of ourselves. We can have big careers. But what does that really mean in our relationship to others? Does respect go out the window?

Again, I say no.

UPDATE: Kitty has added another word to the list.

DISCRETION

I'll add another:

MODESTY


34 comments:

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Only 7 letters and yet such a BIG word. I taught it to my daughter and she in return is teaching it to her children.

You are spot on with this post, Suzanne!

I too have read a few blogs where there is no respect for the spouse and I don't return to those bloggers postings a s I don't feel they reflect who I am as a person and hence won't add to their daily readers count. Telling a funny story about my spouse is one thing,,, but posting disrespectful comments about him is a 'no'go' on my blog.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

Kitty said...

Right on, sistah! You are so right and I agree with you 100%! All those "reality" shows on TV where people will do anything for the world to see? How low can people go for money? There are much more important things in life like respect, manners, and a little consideration. I get tired of all the "whatever" attitudes and disrespect out there. What happened to discretion and privacy? Somewhere along the line we were told it was good to open up and say what's on your mind. Hey--some things need to be kept to yourself! Whew, Suzanne! You got me going this morning! I've got more but will leave it at that.

Laura said...

I would have to say, that yes, respect is no longer something that is taught in this world. I just turned 40 last month, and I am appalled on a daily basis by today's youth and even people my age and older. It seems that (almost) everyone on the planet is only interested in one thing...themselves and in their desire to do their own thing, they completely disregard others. I'll stop here as this is something that really burns my britches and I could go on and on about. :-)
blessings
~*~

chocolatechic said...

Preach it, sistah!

Old Centennial Farmhouse said...

AMEN! PREACH IT! Anyway, I agree and on the modesty issue: I was recently out in public and lost count of the number of OVERWEIGHT girls who were wearing low-rise jeans (hideous enough on their own when the shirt doesn't reach the waistband!) and SHORT SHIRTS with tons of squishy white cellulite showing. WHO THINKS THAT'S ATTRACTIVE? EWWWWwwwwww. Mothers should have enough gumption to tell their daughters: "That looks TERRIBLE on you." But, alas, if they did so, they might "injure their self-esteem"!

And on the mama will 'slap you silly', now you'd get drug into court for doing so, and that's also part of the problem!
XOXO
Joni

JC said...

I am always telling my teenagers that they need to treat me with respect ...

It works most of the time but I do have to remind them more than I would like to ...

I believe that it's how you are as a person that asks for the respect ...

I grew up treating people by who they are and what they do ... not by their color of their skin or their religion ...

I'm always amazed at others ... I think what would their Mother's think ... or maybe it's just what would my Mother think and my Grandmother ...

I quess I was lucky ...

Vee said...

Amen! Score on all points. Now that sounds odd, but you know what I mean. I had to give up reading one of my favorite blogs (and a popular one) because the gal was so disrespectful to her husband and children...it just ceased to be funny for me. I can be as sarcastic as the next person (I know, I'm really outing myself with that revelation), but I recognize it for what it is — thank goodness. I used to have to apologize all over the place for it. Now I've learned to bite my tongue.

Vee said...

Usually.

Louise said...

I couldn't agree more. Your generation started the "anything goes," and mine made it worse. Makes me sick. It REALLY makes me sick how people even younger than me (with children the same age as my children) are teaching their children that respect is theirs--as in the whole world needs to bow bow and respect the whims of the children.

Discretion and modesty, too. How very right!

I love your values and that you will speak about them.

arlene said...

Thank you for saying the truth so eloquently. I am frequently on that same soapbox and practically foaming at the mouth. Respect. I am hoping that it will return. I am also hoping for the demise of the reality shows. They are scraping the bottom of the barrel now.

Jenni said...

While I think there are often different standards for what is rude and what is polite which depend largely on generation and region, there are some standards of etiquette which are universal. Whether or not men wear a hat indoors does not bother me. I don't care whether or not you are careful to lay your silverware down between bites as long as you do not eat loudly and sloppily.

Cussing is a big issue for some people. I don't mind it when it isn't excessively vulgar, and I may cuss too much by some folks' standards. What I don't care for is the overuse I see in some places where there is an f-bomb in every sentence. Any word loses its effectiveness when so overused. I think it's also important to consider the audience and the setting to determine what type of language is appropriate. I don't mind if my kids (all teens) cuss occasionally or with their friends. I'm not going to try to regulate that too much. However, they know better than to use that sort of language around anyone old enough to be a grandparent, very religious people, and homeschoolers, for example. They have built a sense for what sort of humor, language, and behavior is appropriate for different settings along with the ability to read people and a genuine concern for the comfort and happiness of others.

There's a line from the movie Blast From the Past that I think really nails it. "Manners are a way of showing other people we care about them." It's about being considerate and showing other people you care about them and their feelings. If you pay attention to people and listen to their verbal and non-verbal cues, it isn't hard to pick up on what is appropriate. Tsking at someone for having their elbows on the table or plopping a farm boy into a formal dining situation and expecting him to obey all the proper rules of "etiquette" is not good manners either. If you have respect, consideration, and genuine care for others and their comfort, you don't need Miss Manners to tell you how to behave.

lisa said...

What a coincidence, Suzannae - this very subject has been gnawing at me lately - in fact, I'm in the middle of a post on some more cultural specific manners!

What has happened to common courtesy? And I agree with Jenni, some standards of etiquette are universal!

You could write tons more on this and it would keep me glued!

Anonymous said...

This is the first time I have responded to your blog. I read it every day and couldn't agree more!!

Susan said...

I agree 100%. Respect is no longer in a young person's language box!

dina said...

Preach it, girlfriend!

I'm the daughter of a bona fide Southern Gentleman - well, of dirt poor origins. If I learned anything growing up it was that respect was the foundation of all that was good and right in the world.

Fairly early on in my life I realized the place it had to start in MY life - respecting the fact that God is GOD - and I'm NOT! And any commitment, vow, etc. I make to Him must be sincere and carefully considered.

I *LOVE* that my boys open doors - for everyone! I *LOVE* that my daughter happily gives up her seat to anyone older or infirmed, or just looking like they need a break. I can't claim a lot of credit for their - gasp - here's a word you don't hear much anymore - manners. They're just great kids, and I'm so fortunate to count them as my own.

Excellent post! Thank you so much!

bv said...

right on! the reason i love your blog is that it is held to a high standard. i know your values and mine are similar. i only read what i think will inspire me to be a better person. the world of reality show is a perfect example of 'how low can you go'. trash seems to be what people want. where are their standards? showing kindness to important.(dare i mention J & K) kindness and consideration of the other is what i taught my kids and my granddaughter is also learning to live this way. thank you for bring this to my mind today, i will be soooo sweet to all that they will wonder what i am up to!
bv

Piecefulafternoon said...

My husband was recently in the hospital for 9 days after open heart surgery. The young nurse's aids and the young nurses really showed us the great side of young people today - well except for Maria, who threw her cell phone on the shower floor and huffed and puffed when she had to clean up an accident my husband had in the bathroom. Everyone else was polite, considerate, asked our opinions when appropriate, cared gently and carefully for our whole family during this time. It really restored our faith in young people - well, in some of them. Then there was the girl who yelled - "get a move on old woman" - as I was crossing the street in front of her car. I'm sorry, but she was sitting down in the car, it was raining and I had a very hard day in the hospital - she could wait the 10 seconds or so that it took me to cross the street. The bad ones always get the notice - but I'm more than happy to give the good ones some notice too - they were fabulous (as well as the older nurses and aids too). It does a body good to be treated with respect - and then that respect passed along to others.

marbea said...

there just isn't much left for me to add.

Suzanne, a great subject for the day

I agree w/ your post and everyone's comments

lifeinredshoes said...

After working in the public school system for many years I am here to say that yes, respect, manners, discretion, honesty, kindness and a myriad of other "Old School Rules" are almost extinct.
It is the job of every parent, grandparent and mentor to resurrect these necessities to a better society.

The soapbox is now free...next?

This is me... said...

You go girl! It does seem respect has gone by the wayside for so many. I was taught it by my parents and in turn taught it to my boys.
As for modesty, is it not possible to buy a shirt that isn't cut so darn low in the front?? I have seen more cleavage in the last couple of years than I think I saw my whole lifetime. Seeing it during a night on the town is one thing but in professional settings, is ridiculous!

Sarah said...

Teaching children manners today means leaving your fear of them at the door. They're kids and need to be put in their place. It is a long, long, hard task with children . . . we can't expect them to be "on their own" with respect when they reach a certain age - it is on going. I worked in a school once and I'm simply appalled at some of the kids behavior. Just awful! And, you know what? I actually leaned in and told a kid, "I'm not afraid of being fired. Do that again and I'll yank you down to the office and write you up." No more problem. And, remember that these kids probably don't know any better 'cos they get away with it. The sass gets laughed at when they are little and folks are dressing their two year olds up like mini-me's . . . it isn't cute.

Sore spot with me. My parents would have crushed me in one go had I ever acted disrespectful to anyone. I was a meanie to them . . . for a time . . . they allowed it. Why they stopped parenting me at that point, I'll never know. But what I learned from it is that respect has no exceptions. My kids won't be allowed to walk all over anyone.

This post is excellent. As one of your other readers commented, I, too, have had to stop visiting some blogs for similar reasons. I try to be good on my blog . . . I tell about my life to an extent, but I'm not writing for Harlequin either, you know? Keep it clean - you never know who's reading and I do not want to offend.

slpstanley said...

I liked this blog with I found it, but now I love it...you have really hit the nail on the head this time...R-E-S-P-E-C-T...keep on preaching!

Leslie T. said...

I couldn't agree with you more. It's very sad that these days there are so many people who don't realize that there is joy in living one's life with integrity.
I love your blog. Your wit and your wisdom are refreshing qualities.

Robyn said...

I agree with you. Respect is important no matter what. Without it, it's a downward spiral.

Jody Blue said...

Last year would have been (I'm on a leave of absence)my 9th year working in the public school system at the high school level. When I started I would say to inappropriateness "what would your Mama think??" a few short years later I had to switch to "what would your Grma think??" and that was having even less of the desired effect. The language and clothing's could at times shock the red light district! Not only is there a disrespect for others but also of self. Saddens my heart.

Bakers square still has a website but I know of none that are still open---Caramel Pecan Silk Supreme-pretty much pie heaven!

Anonymous said...

Can't watch reality shows-they disgust me with disrespect and selfish ways (Speidi). Patients call at work and ask for Doctor by just his first name! Sheesh yes, he may be a friend, but he worked really hard to get his degree and it shows you respect and think a lot of him to call him Doctor, not Fred or Tom! Another employee who has worked there for 30 years NEVER calls the doctors by their first names, even when away from the office. Inappropriate attire? I still don't care to see what kind of underwear people are wearing-or if they aren't wearing any. Or to know if they are cold or had a boob job-because of the tight small top they are wearing. Sheesh-I sound like Gladys from the Hallmark cards!

Karen Deborah said...

AMEN and a great big WHOPPIN AMEN.
Oh woman I am soooooo in your corner on this. I can't stand any of it.
I won't work in the church preschool or with anything involving kids because I would swat them instinctively. We raise them to be the center of the universe and it's the most self indulgent rude generation of people in a long time. I am not trying to be ugly there are good people out there, but rude is now cute and I can't hang with it.

Margaret said...

I'm with you on this post. Where does the urge to tell all come from. There should be some mystery and discretion in life. Respect is good too!

Mary said...

To the point and right on Suzanne. I would also like to add that to stay home and not work because $8.00 an hour was not enough to live on and demeaning. I was raised that no job was beneath doing well. And that any well done job was something to value and be proud of. Even mucking the cow barn or pig shed. Any job is worth doing well.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

You are SO right. Great post! V.

Heidi said...

Sue where did you grow up? I worked with a lady that her and her 2 sister were bathed, dressed and polished - sat on the step when their dad got home EVERYNIGHT. She said her mom did it so he knew that they appreciated all of his efforts to take care of them and that he felt a sense pride in his family.... pretty cool... :) I think she grew up by Millwaukee... Her name is sandy but not sure what her sisters names are.. *hugs to you my friend*

StitchinByTheLake said...

I loved this post. Working in public schools for so many years really opened my eyes to a lot of things. The worst was the fact that parents didn't respect teachers and taught their kids not to respect them. Of course, the repercussions for that were that the kids didn't respect their parents either. I am horrified by the disrespect both of self and others on reality shows - I refuse to watch any of them. There's nothing funny or entertaining about people being ugly to other people. blessings, marlene

Jill said...

Oh this post hits a nerve with me because it's my generation that has lost a lot of the RESPECT that your generation built as a foundation.

I have an issue with disrespect for your spouse... your family... your kids in public. Save it for the privacy of your home.

And respecting elders? How about not calling them by their first names. It's still Mr. and Mrs. in my book.

What about sitting at the table until everyone is finished - and saying please and thank you too. Or holding the door open?

I could go on and on and on...

Anonymous said...

Great post. One of the reasons I read your blog is because you are a calm, measured, reasoned voice in a world that seems to be on constant me-me, no rules, greedy, selfish overload. Very tiring reading, watching and dealing with so many of that type on a daily basis. Thanks for validating my POV.