R-E-S-P-E-C-T: given and received? Or, wish or want?

Someone once said, "In a conversation, respect is like air, when present, nobody notices it and when it's absent, it's all anybody can think about." Aretha Franklin believed in it and put it to music, but nowadays it's hard to find large numbers of self-respecting individuals who truly epitomize it.

We don't have to share the same likes/dislikes of others, but we do need to be respectful in our shared exchanges.

Most of us remember someone in the school setting who listened, tactfully challenged us while fundamentally respecting our opinion. Some were so impactful that we remember them to this day. In the process we were validated and, in turn, motivated to become who we are today. We become the best version of ourselves when we develop in an atmosphere of sensitivity and respect; it's an environment where we're not afraid to be human.

The real world is complicated and disappointing. At present, our sense of peace, place and permanence eludes us. We've become quantum leapers, not baby-steppers. We must teach ourselves and those in our constellation, how to iron out the creases in relationships with our loved ones, friends, the workplace and, when appropriate, the World-at-large.

In truth, the easiest thing to be in this world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what others want you to be. Don't impress others with externals; don't rearrange priorities to fit in,

Appreciate the uniqueness of others.

It's entirely up to us how we see the world around us. We should model for others how to both complement and compliment those in our orbit. Respect, both given and received, should be the rule of conduct that we want for the future. To wish is to hope for. To want is stronger, you take action to earn it.

Bob Simmons

Arlington Heights

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