R-E-S-P-E-C-T

True story. When I was about ten years old I can remember riding in the backseat of my mom and dads car. The newer road had just been built in our county, and connected larger cities to each other, and generated a lot of traffic through our rural area. As we were coming down a hill, I heard my dad mutter and then I felt the car pull over.

I looked up to see that my dad had pulled up behind a car that had a man standing on the passenger side of it. My dad exited the car, and walked over to the man, who had his back turned to our car. I saw my dad point in the mans face, and the man nodding his head very fast. The man ran around the side of his car, got in, and sped away.

When my dad got back in the car he was angry. Very angry. He talked about people not having respect for others anymore. As I listened to he and my mom talking in the front sit (in other words I was eavesdropping) I got the full story. This man had been on the side of the road, using the bathroom in plain view of everyone driving by. Women and children included. Apparently, my dad taught him about respect on the side of the AA highway.

I tell this story with a chuckle now. Seeing that man nodding his head, watching him speed away, I can only imagine what my dad said to him. I am sure it was colorful, and full of explicit words. Words he would have never said in front of me or any woman.

Last week we were at a local public pool. A group of teenagers were there jumping on the diving board. They were shouting an curse word that made my blood boil. There in the midst of a large group of children, mine included, I heard this word being shouted. I made my children leave that area, and we finally left.

Today, at our local McDonald’s we sat eating lunch. A man sat down with his work buddies, and began talking loudly. In the middle of his sentence was that word again. Women and children alike were sitting around him, and he had no regard for them. It didn’t both him in the slightest.

As we left to go to my moms doctor, we were driving up the AA highway. A large funeral procession was coming toward us, complete with the police escort. As cars in front of us pulled over on the side of the road to show respect, a car went flying around us. Never once did this car pull over or even slow up.

Respect is something that it appears our society is losing. Men used to watch their mouths in the presence of women and children. Somewhere along the way this has stopped. I find myself having to hold my tongue when people curse in front of my children. We don’t use this language around them, and try to limit the exposure they receive. I know it is impossible to completely shelter them from hearing these things. I just wish there were more respect today.

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