Virtue of the Week: Respect

RespectRespect is honoring the worth or dignity in a person or process. When we respect others, we take their preferences and ideas seriously. We thoughtfully weigh our own insights and experiences against theirs.
Respect is merited particularly by those who are our elders, because knowledge, insight and wisdom often are hard won through a lifetime of discipline and learning. Cultivating respect as a virtue does not mean insisting that all ideas, beliefs, or actions are respect-worthy. It does mean that we recognize the basic human dignity of others, even when their ideas or values are different than our own. A general attitude of respect also assumes that each person has something to teach us if we are willing to learn.

My Drug Problem Actually Created Respect…..
The other day, someone at a store in our town read that a metamphetamine lab had been found in an old farm house in the adjoining county and he asked me a rhetorical question, “Why didn’t we have a drug problem when you and I were growing up?” I replied: “But I did have a drug problem when I was a kid growing up in our small rural town of Mt. Angel.”

I had a drug problem when I was young: I was drug to church on Sunday morning. I was drug to church for weddings and funerals. I was drug to family reunions and community socials no matter the weather.

I was drug by my ears when I was disrespectful to adults. I was also drug to the woodshed when I disobeyed my parents, told a lie, brought home a bad report card, did not speak with respect, spoke badly of a teacher or the parish priest. Or if I didn’t put forth my best effort in everything that was asked of me. I was drug to the kitchen sink to have my mouth washed out with soap if I uttered a profane four letter word. I was drug out to dad’s shop to pick up scrap metal and to sweep the floors.

I was drug to the homes of family, friends, and neighbors to help out the less fortunate who had no one to mow their yard, pull some weeds, or chop some fire wood. And if my mother had ever known that I took a single dime as a tip for this kindness, she would have drug me back to the wood shed.

Those drugs are still in my veins; and they affect my behavior in everything I do, say, and think. They are stronger than cocaine, crack, or heroin, and if today’s children had this kind of drug problem, America just might see more respect from its citizens for the young, the elderly, and each other.

Here are some great video clips about RESPECT.