Respect, Where Are You?
Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul
Animals deserve our respect
It’s the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin’s fault. It’s all over. So ends the charade.
In 1967 Franklin released her signature song, “Respect,” which was written and also recorded by Stax recording artist, the late Otis Redding in 1965. Redding is best-remembered for, “Sitting on The Dock of The Bay,” that has some angelic-whistling at the end that I could never master.
Geographically and socially-speaking, the United States, for the most part, has a terrible habit of either not knowing how to, or just plain not wanting to show respect for much of anyone these days. I am not one to “rattle cages,” “ruffle feathers,” and if this does not apply to you, great. Email me that you still show the nouns in your life the respect they deserve, and I will personally name you in my next piece.
I am big enough to admit it. I do not always show proper respect for authorities, the elderly, the environment or other figures that I was raised to respect, and for my failings, I apologize. I should be apologizing to my wonderful parents who raised me to show respect starting at home with them. And yes, I was rebellious from age 12 until age 21—then it hit me. I was not even showing God the respect He deserves. Talk about some sleepless nights and not with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in Seattle, but in my own life. It was then I learned the value of prayer and how to get divine help.
Oh, to have a way to condense, digest, and write a topical-piece with timely references about how far “off the path of respect,” we as a people have trodden. We might as well face it. We are a nation made-up mostly of “Sunday sinners,” who can “act” the Christian role so well, but when Monday shows-up, and we meet a new coworker who is of another color, tongue, or faith, “the gloves come off,” and in a few short moments, “it’s on,” finding fault, a snip here, and snip there in hope that the snip goes to the right ear and our workplace is free of this “alien,” who does not appreciate eating meat, slugging soda by the gallon and worshipping mom’s apple pie.
If you want to “split hairs,” “we,” the upstanding citizens of America are all aliens if you want to get down to the truth. None of us had our start in this country like the American Indian. But since I am not a “cage rattler,” or “feather ruffle,” I will just let that thought stand by itself.
Grandparents deserve our respect
Other people who deserve our respect
I apologize for
not including Ministers, Priests, Rabbi's, and other people in ministerial-positions.
There are so many various beliefs in our world that I felt that "I" would offend some if I didn't include all of these valued-people who work so hard at trying to get us, the "respectful," of the world to do jus that.
Respect our Maker. And each other.
Parents, grandparents and single-parents – deserve our respect if we are going to have a starting place. Our parents did their best, and that is not easy in any era, to raise us to be as normal, civil and unbarbaric as humanly-possible. Yet, somehow, and somewhere, this group of people was somehow shuffled around and were suddenly thought of as figureheads. What a crock. I speak from personal experience on parenting and compared to the work of a nuclear physicist, it was labor, and not always of love. In my waning years of parenting, I found myself hearing a small voice located near my heart asking, “Where is the respect “I” deserve?” When you first-timer parents hear this voice, it will scare you at first, and then it will educate you on why it is healthy for both child and parent to share mutual-respect.
Senior Americans – is the new name for senior citizens, the ones we “rowdy teenagers of the wild 60’s,” called “old people.” That is, until “we” reached 40, then our song changed along with the music. Not to make excuse or manufacture an easy way out, but to the minds of teenagers, respecting elderly people is as foreign to them as volunteering to clean their room. Why not start with a simple, at-home educational endeavor to help preserve the seniors in our lives by teaching our young the value of these special people who have “paved the way,” for us to walk a mostly-obstacle-free pathway and have few troubles by their hard work and genuine sacrifice? I think it is well worth the effort.
Military personnel – used to be the “outcasts,” of American society as I well-remember in the late 60’s in those social-events called “riots,” where people, young and old, dressed in taunting garb, manned signs that read, “No More War!” and “Down With The Military.” I am not an alarmist. I don’t agree to always sending out military to snuff-out every evildoer in foreign office, but I do understand the need for a working military. Some today say that the military is over-budgeted and while that may be true, I would hate to think what our country would be like without these brave souls in uniform.
Police officers – are the “civil soldiers” fighting a perpetual-battle each 24-hour period that is born. The battle to do their best, legally, to keep the vermin such as drug dealers, child and molesters in general, thieves, murderers and other slime, off the street, in rehab or jail, where they belong and can get proper counseling if so desired. Let me be blunt. Police officers are not “pigs.” And to those of my following who idolized Abby Hoffman, The Chicago Eight, and other intelligent anti-war, anti-government rebels, I am not trying to take-up for “the establishment,” but in my hometown, crime is always-evident. And our “big city” trouble, something that was once only spoken of in secret places is real. Trouble is on a “one-way mission,” to hurt, maim and kill our young, right along with the elderly and what few animals are still left in abundance. And its first-cousin, abuse, is it child or spousal, is lower than a crime on the books—taking the innocent by the thousands. While it may not be death penalty material, it’s mighty close. I would hate the job of being a police officer. I am not made for this high-stress job—seeing innocent people gunned down and gunning down others in retaliation. And holding the head of some, once-educationally-ambitious young person that some vile creature, the drug dealer or meth manufacturer has turned onto drugs. Now tell me that police are over-zealous. Some, yes. All, no. Should we give them our respect? That is a dumb question.
Political leaders, office-holders – namely the President, Congress, Senate, Governors, Mayors, are all political-figures. Most of them in my younger days were respected. Sure there was graft, embezzling, and sexual romps unknown by the public, but now, these are daily-news items that have worn thin. The problem is not “us,” the country, but “them,” the politically-greedy for power, monetary gain and prominence. Briefly, “if you want respect, act like it.” Is that plain enough?
Animals, land, water, and air – can fit into one category. I could just as easily have said, “wildlife and environment,” but you might have thought of me as someone who wants to be living on the highest-rung of society. I am not that at all. I love animals. I have loved animals since I first learned to walk. I am proud to say that I passed this trait down to my only daughter and she passed it down to her three children. I even married a woman who loves animals, and as my excitement is growing, a lot of my followers on HubPages are animal-lovers. Hoo-ray. This makes me proud to be alive, and a small part of mankind. Animals, like our land, water, and air, all deserve and need respect. If we want to see them to continue to flourish, “we” have to give something: Respect. And I know how tough it is to give of one’s self. But it is not an easy option to overlook or forget. Actually, it is a must that we respect these areas of our lives that are slowly dwindling away with age and mediocrity.
Would the world stop turning if I had not written this piece? No.
Do I feel a big easier in conscience now that I am finished? Yes.
If you, the valued-follower and reader, like the message in this story, thank you and please accept my sincere gratitude.
But, if for some reason, you resent, or down-right hate me for doing this story, email me and I will gladly read and try to understand why you are so upset?
Just remember, in either case, Aretha started this. Not me.