Civility versus Respect
JMHACLJ at aol.com
JMHACLJ at aol.com
Thu Jul 21 09:31:03 PDT 2005
In a message dated 7/21/2005 12:16:57 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
jean.dudley at gmail.com writes:
I respectfully disagree, Jim. I was raised to show a set amount of
respect to everyone. That level of repsect is subject to change
depending on the recipient's behavior. And regardless of how low a
person sinks, I will never follow them down to that level by actively
showing disrespect for their humanity.
That way lies the Shoa and genocide.
Nearer to, there lies rudeness and incivility. In between are abuse and
We all live in this society and the constant rubbing of human beings in
the brownian motion of life demands the lubricant of good manners,
civility, and respect. Without it, all our lives would be the worse.
Kindly show me the respect of refering to my party as the Democratic
party. I'll return the favor by addressing you by the nomenclature you
And I respectfully disagree that respect, as the dictionaries define it, is
due to everyone. "Deferential regard."
Again, perhaps this reflects internal inconsistencies in my thoughts and
practices. My children, the youths in my church group, the students I teach,
the attorneys across from whom I have practiced, all will tell you, I believe,
that I treat people decently, that I am not a "taker," that I give place to
others, that I often model preferring others over myself in love and devotion.
No, I am not perfect. In fact, this approach is a characteristic of my
But "deferential regard" is another matter entirely.
When the flag of the United States is saluted with a performance of the
National Anthem, I stand still with my hand on my heart. In major part that act
of "deferential regard" reflects on the selfless devotion of those who gave
for our liberty-blessed land the last full measure of their devotion. And,
when the Pope speaks -- and I am not Catholic -- I listen in duly respectful
silence and then consider his words.
But I'll be dog-gonned if I am going to stand still and salute the flag of
the Chicomms or the North Koreans. Some folks have purchased my respect by
their labors, their faithful service, their self-sacrifice, their devotion to
duty. Others than them, I recognize to be true objects of God's love and
affection, and I treat them accordingly. But "deferential disregard" is not due
Nor, have I yet been responsible for Shoa or Holocaust, because those who
see in every other person the object of God's love and affection need not
respect the desire of others to be called right when they are wrong but they do no
harm to those others for that reason.
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