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R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me

 

R-E-S-P-E-C-T find out what it means to me. How many remember this great song? It was first released by Otis Redding in 1965 but became the Signature Song for the great Aretha Franklin in 1967. While this may prove to be a bit of trivia information to use in your next game night, that is not what moved me to write this beautiful and chilly Clarksville evening.

I, like many of you was raised in a time when you K-N-E-W what R-E-S-P-E-C-T stood for and if you had a momentary lapse in judgment or memory your mother or father quickly corrected your course with a swift hand to the backside or a boomerang high heal. Respect to me was (and still is):

  • Respect for your elders
  • Respect for other people’s property
  • Respect for people’s privacy
  • Respect for other people’s feelings, beliefs and opinions
  • Respect for your Parents and Siblings
  • Respect for your fellow man or woman
  • Respect for life

My mother taught me early to respect women most of all I suppose. You know, to open the door, to pull out the chair, etc. She also taught me to importance of respect for my Family. Not too much will get me mad for those who know me, but when you infringe or disrespect my Family you certainly get my attention and a side of me reserved only for those rare occasions. Beyond that, she taught me the importance of ‘Yes ma’am; and ‘Yes sir’ and most certainly to respect and care for my elders regardless of if they were Family or not. Days spent helping at the local rest home certainly helped with the latter but also helped to develop me into the man I am today.

Pam and I hold true to these principles in the raising of our daughter. While the boomerang shoe was retired from my childhood, the intent of the new tools still remains. Back then, taking away a cell phone, the Nintendo, cable TV etc simply did not exist like they do today. For the most part, in my arsenal, the only thing that remains is the swift hand to the backside (actually the threat of such works more than the actual hand) as does the good ole bar of soap.

Too many children now days simply do not understand the definition or concept of respect. You see it in the shopping malls, the schools, the restaurants, etc. It makes one wonder where we, as a society, have failed? Is discipline a thing of the past or is it simply that we have become so enamored in our own agenda and race for financial or personal success that we have completely missed the boat (or the child as it may be)? Now folks, I am NOT talking about abusing a child, nor a life so strict that the child lives in constant fear only to rebel at a later time. I am talking about basic principles and values that MUST start at home.

Are we so busy that we cannot take time to instill in our youth the very essence of being a good and decent person? When I see a child act in a disrespectful manner or hear a child say something about or toward another that is vulgar I do not blame the child – I blame the parents. After all the the child’s first and most lasting lessons are from their parents.

Some will read this and dismiss my thoughts as being out of touch with today’s society but I beg to differ. I would simply ask those who dismiss the above whether or not the shoe fits comfortably?

A couple of good country songs that certainly add to my thoughts – don’t fear though I am not going to sing, nor will I give you the entire song, just a couple of excerpts for you:

I’m in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life’s no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why (Alabama)

He said, “I’ve been watching you, dad ain’t that cool?
I’m your buckaroo, I wanna be like you.
And eat all my food and grow as tall as you are.
We got cowboy boots and camo pants
Yeah, we’re just alike, hey, ain’t we dad?
I want to do everything you do.
So I’ve been watching you.” (Rodney Atkins)

In the end, Pam and I are not perfect parents, nor do we claim to be. I doubt there are many out there who could claim to be such, but there are many parents out there that are TRYING to make a difference. We have no clue what type of woman our daughter will become, but we certainly will do our best to ensure she has a full tool kit to start her life and it will be filled with R-E-S-P-E-C-T and other values instilled by us and her Family to take with her.

God Bless our Children. It is my prayer that He will watch over, guide and protect them on their journey. Parent’s, it starts with you. Teach your Children well.


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