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Respect, Where Are You?

Updated on May 28, 2014

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

Teachers | Source
Young parents
Young parents | Source
Police officers
Police officers | Source
The President of The United States, Congressmen/women, Senators, Governors, Mayors and City Councils
The President of The United States, Congressmen/women, Senators, Governors, Mayors and City Councils | Source
Senior adults
Senior adults | Source
Single parents
Single parents | Source
Our military personnel
Our military personnel | Source

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.

And now . . .


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, sripoonam,

      You are right. We are a social unit and it has a lot to do with how we think toward others.

      And we are too quick to name those who we respect and whom we do not.

      Me? I do not respect rapists, child molesters, wife beaters, cheaters, liars, thieves, murderers and two-faced people who pretend to be my friend.

      God knows that I can't, but maybe in the future.

      Thanks for stopping in and come back anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, itsevelyn,

      You bring up an interesting social angle in the Gen Y/Millenials, for they did not have a prototype from the previous generations to even define respect.

      Thanks for jumping in with your very-intelligent remarks. And please, keep in touch with me.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Kaili,

      You are so right. People do not show enough respect due to not being raised with respect themselves.

      I admire you for your comment. I appreciate you stopping by and feel free to visit me anytime.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, sheilamyers,

      Yes, the Golden Rule is not as observed as it once was. Even in most churches. Can you believe that?

      I have heard of churches splitting due to some old faithful people kicking-up because a new family took their parking place although it wasn't marked.

      In church of all places to disrespect.

      In the church I attend, our pastor is a young man, but he bristles when the teenagers start acting-stupid in worship service.

      I respect him.

      And you too.

      Come back again.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dear CrisSp,

      Thank you not only for the sweet comment and votes, but sharing Aretha's song on your Jukebox page.

      I will do my best to make the journey soon. Thanks for the invite. You, young woman, keep up the great work.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hey, vocalcoach,

      Me also. I remember such a time that when men were being men and telling off-color jokes and a woman was walking by, they would cease until she had passed.

      Not today. They simply do not care.

      What a shameful thing to say.

      That is why my mom drilled it into my head to always respect women, and yes, men too, but never mistreat a woman for any reason.

      She and my dad helped to build "The Old School."

      Please stop in again.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Dearest Catgypsy,

      Respect and Dignity, yes, you are correct. These important human elements are rarely-seen anymore. But I know that YOU and MY FOLLOWERS, when I talk to them are all very respectful.

      I love that.

      Love you too,


    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Bless you, word55,

      for the timely and true comment. Yes, some people feel by respecting others they are weak, but quite the contrary. They are the stronger for doing this nice gesture.

      I want you to visit with me anytime you like.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, BethPerry,

      Thank you, dear friend, for the wise comment. I appreciate you all for taking the time to read the things I publish.

      Hopefully, one day we can all say that we did our part to make our world better.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Mary615,

      Where have you been? I have been working my fool head off trying to get a few hubs ahead in case my health causes me to stop for awhile.

      Thank you, dear friend, for your comment and I agree with you.

      Have a safe night.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      My thanks to you for reading my hub and leaving your sentiments.

      Yes, respect has left our world and we can bring it back by doing one thing: Start showing it to those who deserve it again.

      Stop by when you feel like it.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      4 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Thank you immensely, VioletteRose!

      I agree. Showing respect is as important as giving respect. Thank you for stopping by. And leaving such a wise comment.

    • VioletteRose profile image


      4 years ago from Chicago

      Great article! Showing respect is sometime even more important than the love in maintaining a relationship.

    • HappyMikeWritter profile image


      4 years ago

      Woow. This article actually brought a tears to my face. I mean RESPECT did fade away from our world. I am still young person but I remember when Man was a gentleman and a woman lady. lol

      Beautiful article. Ahh and yes! Aretha Franklin gave us a great lesson in respect!

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      4 years ago from Florida

      I grew up in a time where we were taught to respect all those in authority including those you mentioned.

      I think it all comes down to: if everyone lived by the Golden Rule, we would certainly respect everyone!

      Voted UP, etc.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 

      4 years ago from Tennesee

      Great article! So sadly true, too.

    • word55 profile image

      Al Wordlaw 

      4 years ago from Chicago

      kenneth, you hit some real good points here. People don't respect each other anymore. They think it's a weak thing to have for some reason. Not only is there a lack of it but lack of the much needed love. It's like we're in the last days of life.

    • catgypsy profile image


      4 years ago from the South

      Kenneth, I couldn't agree more! We seem to have lost not only respect in this country but manners and dignity as well. Great hub!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      4 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I sure miss the respect for others that I grew up with. Seems like this has gone by the wayside. I'd like to see it "en vogue" once again.

      Good hub and will share.

    • CrisSp profile image


      4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Sadly, this word "respect" is quite forgotten now. Guess, we have to spell it out and define it again specially for the younger generations.

      Great, valuable hub. Up and sharing.

      P.S. Nice song by Aretha. I'm re-posting it on my Jukebox Page. Please come and visit me there as well. :)

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great hub and so very true. So many people don't respect anyone or at least very few others. I hate to hear someone use the excuse they don't respect certain people because those people don't respect that person. I'm not saying we should let people tromp all over us, but we should live by the golden rule of treating others as we want to be treated. I think a lot of people would be surprised how much respect they'd get from typically unrespectful people if they just showed a little respect first.

    • Kaili Bisson profile image

      Kaili Bisson 

      4 years ago from Canada

      So true. Respect, like a lot of other good "old-fashioned" things our parents taught us, seems to be falling by the wayside. Great hub!

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Great hub. The thing is K, we're living in an era where the "wild child" of the 60s set a precedent to Gen Y/Millenials, who in turn are seeing less and less of social class, gender norms, and despite peoples' ages and accomplishments, see them as equals.

    • sripoonam profile image


      4 years ago

      Well this is a common thing going around with my self too, but see their 's a thing called vibes i.e positive and negative. See it's not that who is to be respected and not, it's just that we are a social being and we live in a society, so just let's forget the class, race, profession and respect each other as we all possess different individuality, opinions and most importantly we share same green planet earth.


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