As I drove to work one day, listening to NPR, I heard a story of how some reporters at ESPN learned they were fired. Their cell phones and computers were deactivated. A rather brutal way of saying, “Your services are no longer needed!” A few years ago five employees of the Diocese of Lexington were informed their jobs were being cut. Two of them received an email. Again, respect for the individuals was not considered.
In the current political campaign respect is nowhere on the horizon. Politician #1 calls Mexicans rapists; women are pigs. Politician #2 does not see a need for adequate funding of women’s health care, and workers in the US just need to work longer hours. His third gaffe was to refer to babies born in the US as “anchor babies” because their mothers were from another country. Politician #4 criticized the Carter administration in a comparison with the Obama administration. This comment came soon after President Carter announced that he had cancer. Previously he shared a Joe Biden joke after Biden’s son died. The disrespect list is endless.
The foundation of peace is respect for all people and creation. It begins with one’s relationship with the person in the adjoining office, the difficult uncle and the power obsessed boss.
PBS political commentator David Brooks recently published The Road to Character, comparing Eulogy Virtues and Resume Virtues. His thesis is that the United States is a Resume Virtue culture – that is our degrees, honors, positions held, are what is most important in life. His emphasis is on Eulogy Virtues – success as a human is in character, honesty, compassion, generosity and respect. Our primary challenge in life is to discover our core sin and grow. That begins with incorporating respect in everyday life.