The Death Of Respect Is The Beginning Of The End - Grasshopper
Whether we realize it or not, something is coming to, or is already at, an end when we devalue its worth.
Loss of respect plagues our relationships, our country, even our entire planet. We are looking the other way as we pave the way for decay.
Our lack of noticing gives insidious rise to the growing lack of respect we give to others. Nowhere is this more evident than in our political bodies.
In my lifetime, I have never witnessed such lack of human decency from our elected leaders. The animus that drips from their lips poisons everyone within earshot. And in the age of global coverage and 24-hour news cycles, that's a lot of eyes and ears.
But politics is just the glowing example everyone can point to and agree on. Where we seem to misplace our glasses is in our personal relationships.
Reminds me of a story . . .
I was out shopping over the weekend and was at the self checkout line behind a married couple I guessed to be in their 50's. They were attempting to scan a rake with the hand scanner. They weren't having much luck. Neither one thought to push the prominent button that would send store help their way.
It ended up that the man threw the rake in frustration to the other side of the checkout line on top of a bunch of parked shopping carts. The woman said, "But I need a rake to rake out the flower bed." He said as nastily as one could muster the following: "Just hurry up and forget about that rake."
She retaliated with similar, high volume, venomous diatribe and off went the "Bickersons" to their happy home of disrespect. One could easily guess this wasn't the first time this type of exchange has played out.
This is only a guess but my suspicion is that apologies will never be issued and their picket fence will never be mended.
Disrespect is toxic and never useful. This is not to suggest that we won't run into impasses in this lifetime; it's more of a reminder that when we reach one, disrespect will indeterminately delay any possible resolution.
Name calling is one of the first signs of disrespect. We all do it. The trouble is it's become such a part of our repertoire that we don't notice how harmful it is. Reminds me of another story . . .
Many years ago we had neighbors whom we occasionally saw socially and who regularly called each other by the following terms of endearment: "Dummy" and "Fatboy." Their act wore on you rather quickly and the derision they launched at each other crowded the room. It didn't take an MIT mathematician to figure out where this equation was leading.
My purpose in writing this is to get us to notice our current level of disrespect. It's the noticing that gives us any chance of shifting course so we don't hit the same brick wall again.
Lack of respect is the highway to hell. The off ramp is revealed when we take our foot off the gas pedal of disrespect.
I'm reminded of a memorable quote from the Buddha: "Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned."
You could easily substitute the word "Disrespect" for "Anger" and receive the same wisdom.
If we're looking to move forward or begin anew, it's imperative that we bring respect back into view.
All the best,
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