Respect

It’s something that some people don’t understand and others hold very dear to themselves. I’ve seen both exhibited in abundance through the years but nothing has ever hit me as hard as it did Sunday afternoon. Respect can be earned, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be.  You can go through your life showing respect to others in your day to day life and it won’t hurt you one bit.  In fact, you may even notice that you are treated the same way when you do that.  Generally speaking.  There will be times and there will be people that don’t adhere to that.

There is a phrase that comes to mind about that:  “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Think about it for just a moment.  Think about times that you have been respectful and nice to someone without really thinking about doing so.  You just did it.  How did they treat you?  How did they react?  In all likelihood they responded by treating you the same way.  Yes, there will be instances where the other person just doesn’t care, but it could also be more than that.  They could be having a “very bad day.”  You don’t know their circumstances, and you certainly don’t know what’s going on with them, so it’s always best to treat them how you want to be treated.  I suppose that you wanted to be treated like an ass all the time, so go for it and be an ass to everyone you meet.  But…  what does that get you?

Anyway, the point that I really wanted to touch on is the respect that you find in a small town.  I’m sure that you can find that in bigger cities as well, but I can’t say that from experience.  I’ve never spent any extended time in a bigger city as an adult.  Maybe that one that’s a little north of me, but I don’t even consider that to be a big city.  It’s more of an engorged town.  That being said, I have never felt the same kind of respect there as I have from the town that I have grown up and lived in.

An example of this is what happens when you’re driving along in a funeral procession through town and the back roads of our county.

I experienced this first hand this past Sunday, and I will admit that it made driving extremely difficult.

My grandmother’s funeral was Sunday.  Once services were completed at the funeral home we had to drive out to the family plot so that she could be laid to rest.  It’s not a really long drive, but it isn’t a short one either.  Parked in the road in front of funeral home was a town Police Officer that had stopped traffic so we could leave.  That was pretty standard.  It was when we go further down the road that it really hit me.  We approached a 4-way intersection, and there was a Sheriff’s Deputy standing in the road in front of his vehicle.  That in and of itself was amazing to me at the moment, but it was what he was doing that really got me.

He was standing there at attention and holding a salute for the entirety of the procession.  I have never seen that happen before.

That’s respect.  That’s compassion.  And it’s all for people that he didn’t even know.  For those of you who want to bring skin color into everything when it shouldn’t even be a reason?  He wasn’t a Caucasian and yet he still stood there holding that salute for us.  I’ll admit that I nearly broke completely down at that point.  I wanted to stop my Jeep, get out, and shake that man’s hand and thank him.  I’ve wanted to thank every Police Officer that I come across for what they do every day for us.  For US.  For most of them the job isn’t about doing something for themselves.  It’s not about making that money and earning that pension.  Hell, I don’t imagine many of them make that much around here.  It’s a calling, and they do it for us.  It horrifies me that there are those out there who cherry pick the bad stuff that happens that makes Officers of the law look bad in the majority’s eyes.  No, it’s not the majority’s eyes. It’s the eyes of the minority.  I like to think that most of us actually realize that half of the shit that we see in the news are things that happen rarely.  Someone just happened to be there with their phone to record it.

Okay, not all of them are saints, but isn’t that a fact that is true of all of humanity?

And I’m off on a tangent.  To continue…

I saw more vehicles slow down, pull over, and even stop in the oncoming lane on our way to the cemetery.  It brought a little faith in humanity back to me.  I will fully admit that.  It amazed me that people had enough respect for the recently deceased to do that even though they didn’t know her or her family.

It’s taken me almost a week to completely finish typing this up, and I know that the actual writing is probably here and there and everywhere.  It hasn’t been easy to type this up with my emotions still getting in the way, but I don’t want to bottle them up.  I want to get them out and let them go.  I’m doing better, sure, but just last night my son asked me if we could go and see my grandmother this weekend.  I had to apologize to him and tell him that I didn’t think that I was quite ready to do that.  I didn’t think that he was ready for that, and so we shall wait for another time.  Not too long from now, however.

And now I feel like I’m going on and on.  Y’all have a great weekend!

Have something to say? Share with the class!