Hey, what’s your opinion on teaching kids about human respect? I don’t mean teaching them to respect authority or respect people’s rights, but teachings kids to respect others as human beings, to treat them as another “I”, and to love them as their neighbors. Of course, you might think differently, and that’s what I’m wondering: your personal opinion.
I do realize the irony of me asking this question given my wretchedness, by the way.
Kids learn from what they see being done.
How does Mom speak to the deli clerk?
How does Dad treat the lady who is behind the
register in the restaurant?
In what manner do Mom and Dad speak of others of different faiths?
The word ‘respect’ comes from the Latin res spectare -
literally, 'to see the thing.'
In this instance, to actually ‘see’ another human being.
How many times have I failed to see another human being?
Instead, seeing another as a member of a ‘category,’ instead of
an individual, created by God. *
To bracket off all that is true, of another, simply casting this other
as soley a member of a given group or religion…
Relating, then - not to a person - made in the image and likeness of God,
but rather boxing a given person in a box of my own making.
Treating another as a ‘thing’ rather than an individual creation,
who is loved infinitely by God.
I often see this happening, when an ongoing discussion concerns faith.
Puts me in mind of Bishop Fulton Sheen: "Win an argumentandlose a soul."
Score one for our side!!
The difficulty is, that God, too, is ‘keeping score.’
“But did we not defend You, God?”
“Wasn’t the truth important?”
And what will God say? I have no way of knowing.
There is a clue, I think, in Jesus of Nazareth saying:
“Whatever you did to the least of my brothers,
you did unto me.”
Might this be said?
“The manner in which you spoke to another,
is the manner in which you spoke to Me.”
I think that God is the Great Respecter of Persons.
I don’t have children at home now, so my opinion is from experience, not from what I’m doing now.
If I may say so myself, I got it right.
We taught that it’s important to respect all people as people, to respect their personhood, but that it’s not necessary or smart to like and trust everyone.
Do unto others is good, so long as you remember that if you were a murderer, you wouldn’t expect others to let you get away with it, or let you out to do it again.
For “Do unto others” to make any sense, you have to have a strong sense of right and wrong to start with. And a good idea of how you should “done unto” when you’ve done something wrong. It seems that people tend to think that “Do unto others” means that they have to treat others as if they are Gods who are never wrong and who should be treated as innocents always. People need correction and punishment from time to time. “Do unto others”, properly understood, doens’t preclude “though love”.
But, if you think that you should be treated with kid gloves no matter what you’ve done, treating others as "another I’ means nothing. Some people want everyone to treat them kindly, no matter what. They cheat on their spouses and expect that they should be forgiven and treated as if they did nothing–and just as soon as they confess! They say horrible things, and expect that everynone should understand that they’re just having a bad day–over and over again.
Maybe, in the US anyway, considering Americans’ bad behavior, we should not wish to treat other as we want them to treat us (as another I), but wish that others would treat us as we should be treated - corrected or punished, whichever is appopriate.
My pet peeve is people who think that their personal problems and bad moods are excuse-enough for bad behavior. Whatever happened to the idea that we share happiness with the general public and keep our troubles to ourselves and very close friends–and then only when it wouldn’t ruin something good for the other person (You don’t announce that you’re getting divorce, have cancer, or lost your job right after your friend shares good news with you, or when your friend is celebrating something, like a b-day or anniversary, or is just having a cook-out.
What’s with every wearing all of their troubles on their sleeves, and hoping to bring down just as many people as they can with their bad moods. I know misery loves company, but didn’t most people’s parents teach them about the happy/troubles idea? When did our society become a bunch of cry babies who go around speading misery.
A local hospital had to stop playing Brahm’s Lullaby whenever a baby was born, because one woman who had lost a baby didn’t want to hear anyone else’s celebration and complained. A generation ago (or maybe it’s more), that would have been seen as boorish behavior. Didn’t everyone’s parents teach them not to rain on someone else’s parade?
When our son was born, he was sent to the NICU because they mistakenly thought he had a problem that would likely either kill him or cause mental retardation. We spent days in the maternity ward, hearing everyone else visiting with their babies. Should we have complained and asked that everyone close their doors so we didn’t have to hear it? Of course not!! They had the right to celebrate – and openly, too. We had the responsibility not to rain on their parade and not to walk through the halls pouting so that everyone would know that we weren’t happy about our son not being on the ward like everyone else’s babies. (Our son was fine. Not sick at all.)
But some would use the “another I” idea and think that others shouldn’t celebrate, because others should put themselves in their place. I can’t express how backward that thinking is. We’re supposed to celebrate others’ good fortune, even when we aren’t as fortunate. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you, as long as you’re not the kind of person who thinks everyone else should arrange their lives (celebratiosn, etc) according to your situation and mood.
My “children” are now in their 30’s and one of them has a child 15 months old, so I hope I have some relevant experience to offer. Jesus taught us that whatever you do to the “least” among us you do to Him, so I have suggested to my children that they treat strangers as they would treat Jesus. Naturally, I think it is a good idea My kids? I suppose their reference to this suggestion varies.
BTW, I don’t think your “wretchedness” has any bearing on the answer to any question! Many, if not most, of us struggle with various “wretched” problems all the time. Just keep asking for help and prayers and you can be sure we’ll all do the best we can to help!
That’s right! My daughter, a 5th grade teacher, begins “Back to School” night with the statement that she is their teacher for 1 year, whereas the parents are their child’s teacher for life. We all need to remember that.
I have no children. But if I had any, of course I would teach them to treat people right. I guess I don’t understand “another I”, but manners certainly count. And so does decency, and empathy, and mercy, and all those ordinary good things. One thing that might help in giving a good example is entertainment. It’s something to think about in public even for us with no kids, because there are going to be kids everywhere watching. If a song comes on in the store about a gangland killing and an adult in the aisle starts bouncing to it that tells kids that adults only act like they don’t like those messages – they really like it. That can do a lot of harm to the parents’ attempts to teach decency to the kids. Let us resist the beat when the words are wrong.