Tuesday, April 24, 2007

All I'm askin'

Is for a little respect.

I think one problem with people today is that they lost respect for others. That is why we have the language problems I discussed in my last post.

The death penalty was carried out in Ohio today. Some think it's a deterrent to crime. I think a bigger deterrent would be to teach children some good old fashioned respect. And applying the board of education to the seat of learning wouldn't hurt either, at least not in the long run.

Catering to the least common denominator as your audience and dissing anyone who wishes to disagree with what you do certainly isn't respect. Remember you reap what you sow. You plant disrespect, you will harvest disrespect.

Sometimes we promote disrespect when we talk to young people. I've been guilty of this in the past. Teenagers will say hi Mr. Jones, or hello Mrs. Smith. They will reply, call me John, or please call me Mary. Mrs. Smith makes me feel old. Instead you should compliment their parents for doing a good job of rearing them.

I have been haunted for the past 32 years of something that happened after I graduated from high school that maybe disrespect from students, including myself helped cause.

When I was a senior at Highland, I was in a senior math class taught by a first year teacher. His name was Mr. McCormick. We started out by calling him Cy, short for Cyrus, the inventor of the reaper. Well for the last period Senior Math class, that was one of the mildest things we called him. We took him to the limit including using every curse word known to man. Some carried it further than that. One person even kicked the fender of his car in. I spent more than my fair share of time in the hall during that period. I had even heard Mr. McCormick was reduced to crying because of what was done to him.

The following spring, I came home from work one day and my brother showed me the paper. Mr. McCormick had jumped off a bridge in Akron. I was told he had other issues, but I wonder if we had attempted to show some respect if maybe we could have prevented it. I say we because, in this case I was part of a mob mentality.

I think of this often.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That is a powerful story. Good one there, WIXY.

You hit it on the head with respect. I have had my fair share of students who "pop off" and see nothing wrong with it. I think because we live in a time where it's been seen as ok to challenge authority but these kids don't understand that there is a proper time and place to challenge authority instead of personally insulting the teacher or making a scene in front of the class. I always tell the class about the proper time/place thing.

One of my favorite teachers in high school at Massillon ran a tight ship in class when I was there. I respected him tremendously. Unfortunately, times change and so did the students. Supposedly, this teacher had enough and one day, just left school, never to come back again. He walked out after having 30+ years in.