I am sincerely not a fan of Rodney Dangerfield however feel that his cliche utterance of, “I get no respect”, can find its place in modern society.
One of the best core values I have ever been a part of is: “Respect the individual”. This singular value is so encompassing that it allows the value set to be boiled down to a few distinct items. Respecting the individual, is simple and elegant, yet extremely effective. Show everyone the respect you want them to show you, no matter who they are. This doesn’t mean you can’t dislike people, get into arguments, or have long standing and deep rooted disagreements – it simply means that you are able to look past those enough to show a basic level of respect to the person.
This is such a good core value to me because it closely aligns with my personal values and reflects my upbringing. I was always taught that everyone has value and they should be treated as such. What pains me is that people so routinely neglect such a basic tenet of social life. People don’t pay attention while driving, endangering others. People cut in line at the grocery store. People yell into their cell phones in obviously and traditionally quiet places, like the library. People let doors swing shut behind them, with utter ignorance of the person right on their tail.
For the most part, people don’t respect one another. There are exceptions though. My wife is nine months pregnant right now. Three times out of her past four trips to the grocery store a complete stranger, who did not work for the store, stopped and helped her load either our 2 year old or our groceries into the car. This is more of what our society needs.
Do your society a favor: respect someone. Open or hold a door for someone. Get off the phone while you drive. Move out of the left lane if you are going slower than the people around you. Tell the person you’ll call them back when you are in a more appropriate place. There is no excuse for not helping others and showing a basic level of respect. Most respectful activities don’t take up any extra time or effort and the majority of the rest only take up a minimal amount of time – 30 seconds to help load groceries, 2 seconds to hold a door, etc.
Together we can change “I get no respect” to “I get respect”. After that we can hold hands and sing kum-ba-ya.