It's always been a mystery to me how people can respect themselves when they humiliate other humans - Mahatma Gandhi Quotes -

I was compelled to write this after reading responses to an article entitled “Ontario school board aims to eliminate non-inclusive terms—like ‘husband and wife,’ ‘mother and father.’”

You can find the whole story here.

One of the suggestions in the article was that Mr., Mrs. and Ms be removed and that teachers be called by their first name.

Some of the responses suggested that this would lead to a lack of respect.

I raised my daughter to call all of our friends and family by their first names. There was never a Mr., Mrs. or MS. Not even aunt and uncle. Yet she respected all of them—at least if they earned her respect. And when she went through a phase of calling me by my first name, not for a moment did I feel disrespected.

Let’s face it, there is no respect in a word. Respect for someone comes from inside a person. Whether I call my surgeon Dr. Smith or Sylvia doesn’t change the respect I have for her ability. She has earned my respect.

I remember my father telling my mother that she should teach us to respect him. Even as a child I was aware that respect cannot be taught, it has to be earned. The same goes for teachers. They shouldn’t think that they can hide behind a title and demand respect.

The article also suggested that mother and father, husband and wife be replaced with “parents/guardians,” “partner or spouse,”

Why do some people want to ban the terms that don’t apply to everyone? Are they overreacting. Perhaps if we lived in a society that was more accepting and respectful of the “different,” the topic would never come up.

It’s a little like when women had to fight for the right to be considered people. Did they want to march in the streets? Probably not. However, when society doesn’t freely offer what is reasonable and just, people sometimes feel the need to swing the pendulum beyond the centre that they really want.

Those people, who like husband and wife and are offended by the suggestion that those terms be eliminated, might consider that being denied the terms they cherish is exactly what the “others” feel has been done to them.

When did being considerate and respectful of “other” become “political correctness,” the latest dirty word(s).

How difficult is it to ask someone what they prefer to be called. Oh right, that would mean we have to get to know them and perhaps take a few steps in their shoes.

When I can’t agree with someone on a topic, in order to know that I have correctly heard their point of view, I practice arguing their view. When I can do that convincingly, I am in a position to make a clear-headed rather than an emotional choice.

That truly is respect—for me and the other.

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