Sunday, July 4, 2010

Respect

"I find it interesting in listening to the demands for respect of many young men today to discover that in fact they have little for themselves, less for the women that they consider important in their lives, and almost none for the rules under which we live." 
- me 


The observation that such is the case for the generation that will be responsible for our future was rather disturbing to me, though I suppose that many would say that every generation of my has felt the same way about the ones that followed. On this Fourth of July, such concepts seem incredibly important to me. 


After all, this is the day when we celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence (in spite of the fact that many of those who signed this document apparently did so some time after the date credited for the document). Those signers were in fact not only dissenting, but breaking with a king and government in England that many held in high esteem in spite their differences. They took the time however, to create a document (which remains in some significance) setting forth the purpose of their action and carefully outlining the justification for those which would follow. 


In making this attempt they were fact showing polite regard for the very people to which they assigned their currently untenable situation to. What greater compliment can be paid to a group of political representatives (especially in light of some of the recent history of the calling) than that they felt the need to do this for their enemies ... and in such a fashion!

This of course, is not to say that one is not allowed to disagree with one's opposition (even violently so). In fact this Declaration could be no clearer a statement of opposition and the firm resolve to stand by that opposition if it were made as a declaration of war. Further however, if it has taught us anything, it is that even when doing so (and perhaps especially so) that there is a certain respect of the rules to be considered.

 Now since I have not put keyboard to paper recently (a situation for which some are no doubt more than grateful), I will try and keep this brief today. I would like to say however that as we all enjoy time with family and friends, enjoy good food and good company, and remember the day that once and for all set this country apart from any other in the history; perhaps we might also remember the example of respect illustrated in the Declaration of Independence by our Founding Fathers. 


Strident rhetoric is all well and good when trying to attract media attention (or when political figures or media pundits are bloviating at annoying volume and length), but respect is owed even to those with which we violently disagree. It is not necessary to demonize the people who make up the opposing point of view in order to make our own. In fact we may even demean our own cause by doing so. Enough already!

May each of you enjoy the sentiments of the day, remember the constant sacrifices involved both those maintaining it around the world, and renew our own respectful declaration to continue the struggle to maintain the freedoms that define the United States of America.

3 comments:

Roland Hansen said...

Tim,
As usual I find your poignant commentary to be relevant as well as thought-provoking; it is a true credit to your "statesmanship."

Roland Hansen said...

Not only that, but it is a good piece of writing, as well.

Tim Higgins said...

Roland,

Muchos gracias mi amigo, and at the risk of sounding a touch sappy let me add "aw shucks".