Respect accorded, earned or not
Often, people will say that a husband should only be respected if he “earns” it. This attitude is precisely the problem. A wife ought to respect her husband because he is her husband, just as he ought to love and honor her because she is his wife. Your husband might “deserve” it when you mock him, berate him, belittle him, and nag him, but you don’t marry someone in order to give them what they deserve. In marriage, you give them what you’ve promised them, even when they aren’t holding up their end of the bargain.
This article is well-written and addresses a significant point. However, and not to detract from the article or the bloggers’ premise, what if we rewrote the missive to address Mayor/residents issues, or Police Officer/speeder or brawler, or Parks Commissioner/owner of home near a park? It still resonates. With respect, there is dialog and growth and sometimes compromise. With abuse, there is misunderstanding, name calling, retaliation – and more abuse.
In the political arena, we see folks who disagree with the Mayor’s political decisions but express their support for his self-defense lawsuit, as we did at the last Council meeting. We see people asking the Council majority for redress from what they think is unfair or at least onerous treatment by City staff. We see the Council and residents showing they respect and value each other – and making progress.
Unfortunately, we also hear (and see later in commentary) name-calling, innuendos about corruption and thievery, and evaluations of the Mayor’s and the Pro Tem’s motivations. Usually it is met by “thank you for your comments” and moving on, sometimes by temper-powered outbursts from the dais. It seems like the “dissing” that opened the subject article.
Police enforce laws about speed and violent behavior – they are police and because of that deserve respect even if you are the one they confront. If they are bad police officers, they should be removed, sooner, not later. Even bad cops are due respect until they are removed. Same goes for Mayors and other City officials.
Withholding respect is self-destructive, relationship-destructive, and unproductive.