Respecting The Office

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                         June 3, 2016

                                

I was not always on the same page with my parents. For example, I wanted to grow my hair out…like all the other kids…but my mom and dad kept me looking like a cue ball with fuzz until I was halfway through high school. “Morris Barber Shop” in downtown Ironton, Ohio is still “razor shaved” into my memory!

My mom’s definition of cleanliness differed from mine. If my bedroom “looked like a tornado hit it”, that meant my bedspread was slightly tilted to the side and one of the sliding doors on the closet was open.

On several other issues that I thought at the time were life-changing, or life-restricting, we differed as well. BUT I always greatly respected my mom and dad. We didn’t have to agree with one another. When Mom fixed dinner I did not receive a menu to decide what was to be served. I was not asked whether or not I wanted the spinach that was staring at me from my plate. I did not have voting privileges! I never doubted my parents’ love for me, even if I did doubt their sanity and thought that “they were so unreasonable!”

They were not swayed by the popular vote.

ME: ”Everybody’s doing it!”

MOM: “Not everybody! You aren’t!”

There is a difference between agreeing with your parents and respecting your parents.

Yesterday, I attended the Air Force Academy graduation ceremonies. The second cadet that we have been the sponsor family for, Justin Katzovitz, graduated, so Carol and I went to celebrate this incredible milestone in his life alongside his parents, twin sister, and other relatives.

I had the opportunity to see my first President in person. I thought President Obama’s speech was very good. Most of what he said I agreed with, but there were a couple of things that he said that I didn’t agree with.

When I posted a picture from the graduation of the President standing at the podium and simply wrote “I saw my first President at the Air Force graduation today”…and left it at that, it was interesting to see all the comments from people. Some said “Great! That must have been awesome!”, and others said “I’m sorry you had to hear him!”

Is it wrong to disagree with someone, but still respect him?

In my mind “respect” does not necessarily go hand-in-hand with agreement. Kind of like with my parents! When one group sees the president as the greatest thing since sliced bread, while another group sees him as the worst thing since the Yugo it seems that a person’s political perspective is the lens that the view is looking through.

I’ll admit that I’m a registered Republican who voted for Romney in 2012, but I still respect the person who holds the office.

Of course, respect is defined in different ways by different people, but one thing that gets voiced quite often, and in various settings, these days is the lack of respect. Teachers sense that in the classroom with their students and with the parents of their students. Customers sense it in the employees that willingly take their money, and employees sense it in how some of their customers treat them. Coaches deal with it in the players they coach. Police deal with it in how citizens communicate to them.

And people holding public office deal with it as they seek to serve the citizens. In Michigan I served on our community’s school board for five years. I don’t remember anyone coming to one of our monthly school board meetings to affirm us on a tough decision, or to thank us for leading our community in the constant pursuit of quality education.

Respect is what each one of us desires to receive, but not as open to give. In our President’s last seven months of office I’m sure he will make some decisions that I don’t agree with, but he will always have my respect.

It’s interesting to me that in the negativity of our culture and the polarization of our beliefs that we seldom anymore hear these words: I respectfully disagree!

Explore posts in the same categories: children, Christianity, Community, Freedom, Humor, love, Nation, Parenting, Story, Teamwork, Uncategorized, Youth

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