What the World Needs Now… Respect

“We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.”

~ Barack Obama

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President Obama's State of the Union Address, January 12, 2016 (International Business Times)

“We need to reject any politics that targets people because of race or religion. This isn’t a matter of political correctness. It’s a matter of understanding what makes us strong. The world respects us not just for our arsenal; it respects us for our diversity and our openness and the way we respect every faith.”

~ Barack Obama

In my last post in this series, “Let Us Change the World!”, I reflected upon the role of education in bringing about positive change in the world through a quote by Nelson Mandela. His words were spoken in the context of a speech he made to students in Boston in 1990 to encourage them to remain in school and help transform the world into a better place.

Young person working on a laptop computer.
Lifelong learning can be achieved online, through books, and by listening to others. (Image courtesy of Pixabay)

As a retired secondary school educator, I am a firm believer in lifelong learning, and it need not take place in a formal classroom. In Mandela’s day, the Internet was in its infancy, and now it allows anyone who is curious to discover information and analysis about any topic they can imagine. It is in the context of the lifelong learner that I wish to reflect on President Barack Obama’s words quoted above from his final State of the Union Address on January 12, 2016.

As a student of history, I realize that human progress does not occur in a linear pattern and that often we regress on the way to positive growth. In some very tangible ways, we are experiencing a regression in our behavior towards others today. News headlines from around the globe give testament that division and polarization around extreme ideas and attitudes are fuelling discord and conflict between us.

Image that gives examples of human conflict and division

At the root of this discord is a startling lack of respect for others. What do I mean when I speak about respect? The teacher in me goes directly to the dictionary and in my case, several dictionaries. I was dismayed to find the term defined as having a high or special regard for someone. This definition is far too narrow. What about the man who lives down the street from me? I don’t know his name or anything about his talents, skills, accomplishments, attitudes or beliefs. So what am I to hold in high regard? What about all the people in the world with whom I’ve never been in contact? Do I respect them because their country is powerful or wealthy? Perhaps, but how do I approach a stranger with respect?

Image of a handshake with words that express positive interrelations

I began to understand the essential concept of respect when I came across the phrase, “to consider worthy…” The lights came on, and I knew I had found my elusive key. Every human being must be considered worthy of the same freedoms that I desire, worthy of consideration, assistance when needed, and of fair treatment. We are all worthy of being free from prejudgment based on physical traits, age, culture, and beliefs; of having the opportunity to live in a healthy environment and to be successful. Most importantly, respect means being considered worthy of equal treatment.

Images of the elephant and donkey icons representing the Republican and Democratic Parties with the U.S. flag as the backdrop

The polarization I spoke about earlier has driven many of us to demonize anyone who disagrees with us. We see this unfolding each day in the United States as Republicans and Democrats have no kind words for each other. Fear brought on by years of terrorist attacks cause us to regard Middle Eastern people with suspicion and distrust. They are the enemy! Protect the country by closing our borders! These things are happening in many places around the globe, not just in America. Yet America, a nation that has held itself up to the world as a beacon of hope for over two hundred years is now projecting rancor, disrespect, and bullying. Fair or not, if something happens in the U.S.A. the whole world knows about it quickly. My country, Canada, is guilty of many of the same things, but the world rarely hears about it because we’re just… Canada – no big deal.

Two Muslim women holding pictures of Muslim women dressed in the American flag

I also understand that societal or global change begins within an individual and spreads from there. Upon introspection, I’m not pleased with what I see in my heart, my words, and attitudes. Before I can respect other persons, I must accept their humanity and see them as worthy beings. I don’t do that when I demonize and dehumanize people who anger or upset me. I don’t have to agree with them to be respectful, but if I accept another person as a worthy human being, I must find better ways to express my disapproval, disagreement, or dismay with another’s choices or beliefs. As a writer and blogger, I have not done well in this regard. In my own way, I have participated in the politics of division that Obama warns us against.

President Barack Obama’s speech contains wisdom and truth. I need to step back and consider his words carefully. We have clear evidence around us that divisiveness and polarization exist between people today, people in our own countries and between people around the globe. This makes us weak and ineffective. We have lost sight of the main reason why humans created civilizations back in antiquity – to work together in peace to survive, build robust economies, and express our humanity, our very soul, through the arts. Our diversity is our strength! Ethnocentrism is the belief that holds one culture or ethnic group superior to all others. That is intellectual arrogance at its worst! I may espouse liberal ideas and policies, but I need to consider the conservative positions of others. When we do battle over these things, we all lose!

If we fail to accept others as worthy beings, then we have failed to respect them and ourselves. If I demonize you for something you said or did, I have disrespected myself. Without respect, there is no building for tomorrow. There will be no working together for the common good. I need to learn to respectfully disagree and criticize, and then put forward my ideas with humility. None of us has a monopoly on wisdom because we have different perspectives – and those perspectives can help us arrive at the best solutions.

I need to do better.

Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (http://fiorabooks.com), to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

85 thoughts on “What the World Needs Now… Respect”

  1. I actually just wrote about respect too. As a young adult I am mistreated or looked down on by adults who think I know nothing. I live everyday and work hard everyday to prove I am not what they think I am. I hope you can check it my post!

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    1. It’s good to meet you Kyla. Unfortunately, some believe that respect must be earned. I think that our very humanity deserves respect – no matter our ethnicity, race, religion, culture, gender or age. Ageism is tough to deal with. I’ll visit your post. Thanks, Kyla!

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  2. John, I couldn’t agree more. The lack of empathy is my country is severely lacking. Everything online turns into a political debate even a video about dogs. Since I don’t align myself with any of the two political parties, I don’t fully understand the division. People treat politics here as if it’s a football, a competition. To me, it’s all very childish but has real life consequences that affect us all. I was watching a video yesterday of a young girl from the Florida High School were the mass shooting just occurred. Her speech was eloquent, passionate and beautiful, she was talking about the need for gun control so that more students don’t have to die in schools. I was teary eyed. When I scrolled down the comment section, people were calling her names; saying she was brainwashed, everyone comment with political rhetoric and insults about each other’s political party. I mean, what happened? Why can’t we discuss these issues civilly? Where is the humanity where you can listen a young girl talk about her friends dying and not have an ounce of compassion? I am deeply disturbed by the lack of compassion in our society and I don’t have answer but am glad others feel the same as me, very upset. Thank you for the post.

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    1. You certainly put your finger on the current polarization in America. I’m a Canadian in Ontario with many American friends and I am profoundly saddened and alarmed. I haven’t seen the comments about the Florida student’s statement, but I wasn’t at all surprised. I saw her and several friends interviewed this morning and for the first time, I have hope. I taught high school for 35 years and I fully understand how riled up and determined they can be. This group is creating a nation-wide movement to march in major cities protesting the lack of gun control. Their prime target will be federal lawmakers who accept funding from the NRA. Congress and the White House ignored the Vegas massacre, but they won’t be allowed to ignore this one! I believe these kids will show like-minded Americans the way and begin cleaning up Congress of NRA flunkies in November. Have hope! A great thing is coming out of this heartbreaking tragedy in Florida. Thanks for your heartfelt comment, revolutionarymusings.

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  3. An excellent post John. Respect is in short supply in the World. I’m a firm believer that you can teach and encourage respect in school. I’m quite worried about your neighbour at the moment, there is usually discord between the opposing political parties but nothing approaching what is there currently. I think the anger between them is being stirred on purpose so that some things can be passed below the radar or without the will to fight. The Republicans will be hit as badly by the current bills as will the Democrats but they won’t fight them as they’re given to believe they’re Republican bills and will support them. The oligarchs who benefit from both the Tax Bill and the Net Freedom bill are happy to use their catspaw Trump to distract the Republicans. Turning education into something that has to be paid for is removing the option from many people leaving them to be the serfs in the new Kingdoms of the obscenely wealthy. Respect and understanding may enable everyone to concentrate on what’s being done to them and stop their politicians being bought and paid for by private enterprise.
    Hugs

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can’t rebut your analysis, David – there’s a lot of truth here. I don’t think we can count on the elected members of Congress to lead the way in respectful discourse with their political opponents. Peaceful protest both online and in person will prevail, I believe. It’s hard to keep screaming and spewing hatred when the other side remains calm and maintains a focus on the issues and the common good. It won’t be easy, but if the Democrats and their supporters can personify a better way, voters may well respond. We live in hope. Thanks, David!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The whole piece was a very powerful and rational appeal for decency and tolerance, but your last paragraph particularly resonated with me John, specifically…
    If I demonize you for something you said or did, I have disrespected myself. Without respect, there is no building for tomorrow. There will be no working together for the common good.

    Without a common will to work for the common good, we have… well we have what we have now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Paul. It was a tough piece to write because what we have now has had me in the grips of depression and I haven’t felt like writing anything inspirational. Then I read Obama’s words and realized that my silence made me part of the problem. It’s time to bust out!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You know what john you have actually hit the nail on the head again. didn’t someone say. IF YOU ARE NOT PART OF THE SOLUTION…YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM. Well done for standing up and being counted. If everyone did that others would have no power. P (I don’t know how to give a thumbs up emoji! So consider yourself emojied!)

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  5. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    A very thoughtful and far reaching post on respect by John Fioravanti. As well as respecting others we first have to understand the concept of self-respect. It would seem that many feel that they are entitled to behave badly and that is okay because of their position.. that is not so. I #recommend that you read and consider if you respect yourself enough to respect others..

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved this John. It represents my own views perfectly. If we could only empathise and learn to get on with each other with respect, compassion and understanding.
    Cooperation not competition.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You say you need to do more about respecting people. Probably you are right, you are the expert on who you are and how you live. So if you don’t mind a little nudge in a strange direction, I have a motto for occasions like this: FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT. I have used this method in many different situations, and as long as I keep on trying, eventually it becomes second nature. The more you tell yourself “I can respect anyone, even those I don’t right now respect,” the more you believe it. The more you practise it, the easier it gets.
    Yeah, it starts out as a deliberate lie, but that lie suddenly becomes truth. I may be an atheist, but some of the nicest people I know are religious. I am so far left wing I can’t see the center from where I stand, but I can spend time with conservatives and not want to shoot them for being so crazy-assed stupid. Yeah, I obviously still disagree with them, but they are still my siblings. No matter where they stand on the path of life, I know I have stood there. And I feel it is my task in life to be a role model for what anyone can be. And you can do that too. In fact, I hope you already do that…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your helpful remarks. I agree with your motto as it is a prudent way to act. We need to be civil and diplomatic in our words no matter how we feel. I know how offended I feel when I hear conservatives demonize liberals. I think governments need to listen to different points of view and do their best to enact compromises that most folks can live with. Again, thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Dear John,

    This is a very timely well thought out post. It behooves all of us to be respectful to others. One of my beloved friends is a right winger Evangelical who is truly a lovely person, otherwise. Sometimes, I see that she is saddened when I don’t share her joy about a piece of news. For instance, she was thrilled about the news of President Trump making his recent announcements regarding Jerusalem. I simply said that I couldn’t agree because I’m worried that his actions put any real chance for a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine at risk as well as potentially destabilizing even allies in the middle east. The best I could say was that I would love to be wrong and then I did my best to change the subject.

    Years ago, I had a friend who refused to talk to me for a couple of months because I foolishly admitted that I voted for Barack Obama to be president instead of Senator John McCain because of his running mate,Sarah Palin.

    Another has always been gracious to me who I truly enjoy because he is someone who argues his side well but so do I. We just have at it until we wear each other out.

    By being respectful to others who think differently, they get to listen to a different point of view that they wouldn’t hear otherwise. And it is hard for folks to be dismissive of others who think differently if they have someone they know like this, who they are fond of most of the time.

    Thank you for a lovely post. Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind remarks, Gronda. I really believe that all of us need to dial it down when discussing political issues. I love how you responded to your friends who believe differently than you do. I agree that respectful expression of a point of view will allow folks on the other side to listen without feeling demonized. I have always voted for the Liberal Party (never missed an election: federal, provincial, municipal) here in Canada, and I’d likely be a Democratic voter in America. I can’t help but feel offended when I hear Republicans and their supporters demonize liberals. It shuts all the doors to fruitful discussion and compromise.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. John, you may have used yourself as an example of someone needing to improve, for the purposes of this article; yet I see you as one of the most respectful people I know. But isn’t that how it usually plays out? Those needing least to improve themselves (bearing in mind that growth is ongoing) are the ones who challenge themselves to do better; while those needing most to improve rarely recognize their shortcomings. I’m grateful that you chose President Obama to quote here, because the heinous words and deeds of our current POTUS do not exemplify the sentiment of the majority of American citizens. Unfortunately, since that narcissist has been designated our ‘leader,’ he gets unmitigated press coverage. I hope people around the world see this as a fleeting, albeit bleak, phase in U.S. history, brought on by circumstances beyond our control, and not as the will of the American people.

    Respect is crucial to tolerance, understanding, and good will. So is an open heart. Being able to loathe someone’s behavior while keeping our heart open to them is, in my opinion, a hallmark of respect. This is an outstanding, well-written article, and one I’ll reblog in the near future. In the meantime, I’ll share it across my pages. Hugs, brother. You are a compassionate human being ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not the will of the American people? I respectfully have to disagreeagree. Your republic is built upon the will of the people. Not counting a few million Russian ballots, it was Americans who chose Trumpazz as the Republican candidate for the presidency, and it was the American electorate who put him in that office. Sorry. Stand up and take responsibility. And then stand up to him and kick his ass right out of the Oval Office. He doesn’t belong there…
      Please.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for your response to Tina. I have to disagree with you in that the majority of U.S. voters did not vote for Trump – Clinton won the popular vote, and currently, less than 40% of Americans approve of Trump’s performance to date. The statistics support Tina’s assertions.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Read again. I never once used the word majority. Your electoral system is what let you down, but I do not hear anyone clamoring for change. If you want to prevent a recurrence of 2016, I would suggest changing the flawed system. I’m not saying our system is any better, in fact it is probably worse than yours. At least you can vote kind of directly for who you want to led your country. Our party leaders seem to think that voting enough of a party’s candidates into Parliament gives the party leader of the winning party care blanched to call himself Prime Minister. I wish we had some way of telling these fools we vote for the candidates, not for the party or the leader. But that is the way it has become over the years. A direct vote for a Prime Minister would probably result in a lot of surprises. But…
          I do hope we can agree all electoral systems are flawed. So why aren’t we doing something to change them?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. First, I’m a Canadian – so it’s not my electoral system that elected Trump. There are groups in the States who are trying to raise money for a court challenge to get rid of the infamous Electoral College. I agree – I do not like how we elect our Prime Ministers. By the way I have always voted for the party I want in power knowing full well that party discipline in the Commons handcuffs MPs from truly representing their constituents. Thanks!

            Liked by 1 person

      2. What most people outside the U.S. don’t know is that the Electoral College, not the American people, decides the presidency. The EC is an archaic construct that has outlived its usefulness. A candidate can win the popular vote and lose the election, which is what occurred in 2016. This is due to some states structuring their primary elections as winner-take-all. Thus, a candidate who gets 49% of the vote will receive no electors, while the candidate who receives 51% of the vote will receive all of that state’s electors. Then these electors cast their vote for that candidate when the EC votes in December, a month following the general election. There are enough winner-take-all states to swing the election to the candidate who lost the popular vote. By right, Hillary Clinton should be our President, as she won the popular vote by the widest margin of any losing candidate in U.S. presidential elections history, carrying nearly 2.9 million votes more than Donald Trump.

        Liked by 3 people

        1. Hey, Tina, we all know about the Electoral College, but we just don’t understand why state politics can affect a national election. No 1 state should be able to affect the outcome of the will of the majority, and yet you have many states that do exactly that. Yes your system is archaic, and was probably set up when only white males had the right to vote. There are enough women voters, and non-white votes to crush any male chauvanusts who still think they have the right to anything. All it takes is a concerted effort to gain the support of all voters who are non-white males. And before anyone jumps on me for thinking that all white males are chauvsnidts, I am not saying that at all. Presumably at least half of the white male population of the USA has some sense in their heads and hearts, but I am saying it is the women and the non-whites who can turn the tide and create change when it is so badly needed. Sure, there will also always be some non-white voters and women voters who will vote against the good of your society, but the more you emphasize the powers those two blocks of votes have, the more you may actually be able to create change. But DO NOT tell anyone how to vote, that will turn people off. Rather, conscientious the voters, and help them to see the power they have to create change, and why they would want to do that. Take the bul by the horns, so to speak. The power is already yours, just use it.
          Ah, I hate contradicting myself, but sometimes I just get so furious that so many people do not take the time or make the effort to help themselves. White Republican males are a minority. Crush them, with love and respect, of course.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Sorry for all my spelling mistakes, I’m not used to typing without a keyboard. My clumsy fingers hit the wrong letters far too often when using a phone or tablet. Again, my apologies.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. State politics currently affect national elections here in the U.S, because we are a Republic. The Electoral College can supersede the will of the people, because States have relative autonomy and can structure their primaries as they deem best. Since the EC is written into the Constitution, a Constitutional Amendment is required to eradicate it. This is a slow process, because 38 of 50 (3/4) States must ratify in order for it to pass. Much is already being done to this end. People ARE speaking out, and many are putting their lives on the line. Many disabled confined to wheelchairs were forcibly removed from their wheelchairs and arrested while demonstrating, and on more than one occasion. The women’s marches that occurred on the day following Trump’s election took place in all 50 States, as well as in 57 countries and on all 7 continents. Demonstrations against Trump’s policies are a common occurrence throughout the U.S. We are not complacent. We HAVE taken ‘the bull by the horns,’ and will continue to do so. The will of the people did NOT elect Donald Trump; a flawed system did. And we are doing all in our power to rectify this. You have a similar situation in the UK with the Tories. What we are experiencing is the supremacy of avarice in our political systems. The dominant patriarchal world construct is dying. As it breathes its last breath, it is digging in its heels for a last stand. We are in the midst of this right now. We need to unite in our resistance, not find fault with each other. I understand your frustration. I want change for the better, immediately, if not yesterday. While we ride out this tsunami, let us join forces and surf the crest of the wave. Otherwise, we will go under. Let us unite and vanquish this demon once and for all ❤

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Obviously I don’t get all the news of the world up here in my scarcely-populated corner of it. But no matter how much is being done by however many, MORE still needs to be done. I can only assume that there is a reason a lot of news (pro-left social equality variety) does not even reach me, and I presume that reason is media control. Not all media, but enough of it to give certain things more coverage than others, thus slanting the news in unreal directions. Thanks for the quick lesson, but I leave with one question in return? What percentage of the women of the world took part in those protests and demonstrations?

              Liked by 2 people

              1. You’re right about the news being skewed by network news stations. Most are owned by far-right-wing billionaires whose goal is plutocracy. PBS is the least biased; MSNBC is progressive; CNN is liberal. As to percentages of women in the marches… The crowds were so large that it was difficult to estimate the total number of people, much less the total number of women. However, as I watched in real time, the majority across the globe appeared to be women. Best numbers given for here in the U.S. was 4 million, and in other countries, hundreds of thousands. Most sources stated this was the largest global turnout of its kind in history; and its hallmark was that all were nonviolent. Given that conditions in developing countries and in those under autocratic rule preclude the large majority of their populations from even knowing about such things, much less participating in them, the turnout for these marches, relatively speaking, was massive. Yes, more needs to be done. And more is continuing to be done. The people of the world have awakened. Liberal and progressive news media are being pummeled by the far-right, but they’re standing their ground and reporting all lies and hypocrisies. The veil is being lifted. Patience, my friend. The time has come for truth to prevail ❤

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I love the sound of that number, 4,000,000 in the US, and maybe 5,000,000 world wide. But when you look at ONE-HALF the population of North America and the world, those numbers (in percentages) become almost meaningless.
                  4000000/176000000×100=2.2727% of North American women and 5000000/3800000000×100=0.032894% of women world-wide are nowhere close to enough women coming together to show their power.
                  I know I’m playing with numbers here, but I cannot even begin to estimate what percentage of women in the world even have the vote in their countries. but even if it is half of the women in the world, the percentage of voting women who attended protests was still under 1/4 of 1%.
                  I’m not trying to lay the problem at the feet of the world’s women, that would not be fair. But life is never fair. It is my firm belief that if women could join together, the men would not stand a chance. Cut off sexual relations, stop having babies, stop cooking meals, stop all those things men have learned to accept as their god-given rights, and grab us by the short and curlies. It was tried with some success in the 70s when a small percentage of women went on strike against chauvanism, and it worked for awhile, but them almost everything went back to the way it was. It is time to do that again, but on a world-wide scale. Easy to say, hard to do, I know. But try. Please try. The fate of this world CAN BE IN YOUR HANDS, and WOMBS, and HEARTS. It is definitely in every breath you take. Please use it.
                  Read “Black Consciousness in South Africa” (authorship attributed to Stephen “Bantu” Biko). It will show you the way, just like it showed the way to millions of Black and Coloured South Africans in the 70s who underwent conscientization (consciousness-raising) and ripped control away from the all-powerful apartheid whites. Now is your time. And the world needs you to do it.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Please acknowledge that we ARE doing it. Standing in the midst of change as it unfolds can obscure the big picture at times. Almost every revolution throughout human history has been led by women. The male of our species needs to participate with equal effort.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Oh, I do acknowledge that you ARE doing it, I’m just trying to cheer you on while looking at the reality of how far you have yet to go. Believe me, I want nothing more than to see you succeed. I realize how screwed up we men have made this world, just as I acknowledge it has to be the women who can clean up our mess, as per usual.
                      Meanwhile, there is a difference between support and interference. The revolution in South Africa succeeded because the Blacks took possession of their own power and did not let any whites interfere. In this coming revolution I, being male, can only be cannon fodder, I can’t be a cannoneer. Don’t know if you can see this from my point of view (and Stephen Biko’s) but I feel it is best for women to own the leadership. To let men join you in the leadership is to contaminate it. We will just screw it up all over again, no matter how good our intentions. Ask for help, I will do what I can. But I want no part in the decision-making. I leave that to the healing sex.

                      Liked by 2 people

    2. Tina, your kind remarks have blown me away. I fear that this current war of words in the realms of politics and religion will not abate until we ‘turn down the volume’ and speak to each other respectfully. Otherwise, we just shout at each other and no one is listening with an open heart. Thank you so much for your generous shares, Sis! Hugs!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re welcome, John. I was delighted to share this. Actually, ‘compelled’ might be a better choice of words. Your wisdom on this subject needs to be shared far and wide. If we only listened with our hearts instead of our minds… Hugs, Bro ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    Friend and fellow blogger John Fioravanti of Words To Captivate fame, has written an excellent, thought-provoking post about ‘respect’. Such a simple word, yet one that seems so difficult sometimes. In this piece, John searches his own heart and finds, as we all do, that he is not always true to his own ideals. Please take a few moments to read John’s piece which, I think, has much value in these uncertain and difficult times in which we live. Thank you, John, for your deeply introspective piece, for making us all think, and for your generous permission for me to share this with my friends and readers.

    Liked by 2 people

          1. Excellent! Yes, I am too busy, I think. I have not got the first Christmas present bought, tonight I locked the car keys in the car … only set of keys, the car was running, as I was getting ready to scrape ice off the back window, and it cost 2 hours and $100 for a locksmith! I need to slow down, yes? Thanks … just the beginnings of a cold, I think, or perhaps just the stress of it all. But a night’s sleep might help! 😉

            Liked by 1 person

                    1. The doors lock automatically when you put the car in Drive. When you shift to Park, the doors automatically unlock. I think you can change these settings. I know you can use the door lock/unlock switch to override the settings.

                      Liked by 1 person

  11. Your self-awareness, honesty, and wisdom is striking, John. We all need to check in with ourselves from time to time. I thank you for inspiring my own personal reflection this morning.

    Love how you say, “We have lost sight of the main reason why humans created civilizations back in antiquity – to work together in peace to survive, build robust economies, and express our humanity, our very soul, through the arts.” A nice hierarchy!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks for your kind words, JoAnn. I don’t believe for one minute that we should all think alike but we need to disagree in civil terms and begin constructive discussions – and that starts with each of us. I can control only my own thinking and behavior and I refuse to preach at people. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 2 people

  12. John … this post stirred so much within me … it took my breath away, brought a tear, and in the end made me smile. You did a beautiful job with it, and said what most of us, if we stop, be quiet for a minute, take a breath and just think, introspect a bit, search our own minds, will realize that we are the same as you. Would you mind if I re-this post later today? Great post, my friend!

    Liked by 2 people

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