I have been forced to ponder the lost art of respect by several parents at my school. I’m a teacher. I try to be fair, understanding of students problems. I work them hard, but reward effort. I trust the students tell me the truth about dogs eating their homework and ‘I swear I sent it!’ until I don’t trust them. Invariably, they get the trait of thinking bullying will elicit some prefered grade from me from their parents. I’ve received too many emails from parents who assume that I’m treating their child unfairly, dislike them, was too stupid to notice whatever, rather than assuming I know what I’m doing and asking how to work things out. They pay me–I teach at a private school. Wouldn’t you think they’d trust what they paid for? Instead, they think they bought it.
Such is life.
It’s more than my tiny universe. Sound bites have brought out more and more comments designed to elicit emotion rather than logic. Politicians come to mind. They’re asked a question and answer the one they want to–who cares what was asked? If they’re caught in a corner, they use emotion because people get flustered by an emotional outburst. Gets the interviewer off their back. And heres a favorite of Democrats: They fillabuster. When they get the floor on a talk show, they talk forever, on whatever. Usually not well-related to the question. Does no one notice they don’t answer the question?
I think if we all assumed each other was innocent until proven guilty, we’d approach interactions with respect, rather than name-calling or emotional outbursts. We’d solve a lot more problems that way. I’ve decided to include a picture of my dog, Casey. Casey always respects everyone. Guess what? We feed him, clothe him, pet him, house him–all for free. He’s got the dream life. All because he respects…