Respect

Spell it out, and then I'll tell you what it means to me.

But on a more serious note, today's society is cultivating a staggering lack of this towards others.

Just a few decades ago, a man would always remove their headwear when they entered a building, not because they were told to by an elder, but out of a common respect for those around him.

During the national anthem, the pledge, or a prayer, the hat would always come off. Even as they strolled along outside and a lady passed on the opposite side, the hat was tipped out of courtesy, benevolence, and respect for women.

There are countless other examples of how respect was shown between people of different religions, genders, ethnic and social backgrounds, but this behavior was common, widespread, and had a very positive effect on all who participated in daily life.

But the general kindness of society has rapidly declined from this status quo to a more lassiez-faire mindset of "I'll-do-whatever-I-feel-like-doing-and-there's-nothing-you-can-do-about-it".

Now, men wear baseball caps whenever and wherever they please. Tacky, and sometimes even all-but-destroyed tatters of clothing are worn with little regard for what others are being subjected to. T-shirts with filthy, lewd, and downright pornographic references and quotes are commonly seen in public view.

Even in public places where children are present, profanity is uttered with complete ignorance to the young mind absorbing the information it is presented with.

The degeneracy fails to stop there, however. It festers on the roads of our great nation. People operate their motor vehicles as if they are the only individual on the road. Lanes are swapped on a will-he-nill-he interchangeable basis without a second thought of who might need to know what's about to happen. At night, drivers leave their high beams on so they can see better, even with traffic directly ahead or oncoming. And if a driver has an opening to get around people traveling the speed limit, he whizzes around them because his destination is more important than everyone else's on the road.

Unwanted trash in the car or just in hand is thoughtlessly thrown to the side or out the window, never to be thought of again.

Well, some of us here on planet Earth like to look around and not have to steer around an empty box of canned beer with the emptied cans a few feet away. Some of us realise that this trash has to be picked up by somebody, and trash receptacles really aren't that difficult to find, whether you are out of state or three blocks from home.

I'd like to have a decent meal someplace rather nice and not be accosted by some belligerent fool who's wasted 5 hours at the bar and angry that last call was so unnecessarily early.

I'd like to enter a mall without having to endure 6 months worth of lung-blackening from smokers who refuse to put forth the minimal effort to extend their lives a few more years.

I'm tired of being the only person out on the road who knows how to use a directional indicator and how to alter the directionality of my headlights.

I'm sick of people who don't leave their surroundings as they found them, and the associated lack of respect they have for all who may share that space.

Respect is a value that must be taught at a young age and reinforced throughout the maturation process, and our latest batch of humans appear to lack this value, partly due to parents' lax Big Daddy environments of "Let-the-kid-do-what-he-wants", partly due to the staggering divorce rate, and compounded by parents' lack of respect toward the institution of marriage.

And because society hasn't fully recognised this as a problem, the situation can only grow worse.

So I'll just stand here in my own little world of respect and allow the rest of the world to defecate in my front yard.

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