Me and Aretha, We Know

I want to say something about respect. I hear often that “everyone is deserving of respect,” and I don’t think that’s true. On one level of course this is true—every person on the planet deserves the same level of respect as a human being as anybody else. This is an issue of ethics, of morality. Everyone begins life due the same number of let’s call them “respect points.” But the thing is, you can lose respect points. This is what many seem not to understand. Here are a couple examples.

Let’s start with the adults, those who are more mature and perhaps better able to accept criticism. People seem not to understand that there is a correlation between one’s actions and the respect one deserves. If you are lazy about getting grades in on time, how can I trust that your thinking on an issue being addressed will not be lazy as well? Why should I listen to you? If you stand me up for a meeting, how can I respect the next promise you make? (See “that flew under my radar” of previous blog post.)

Students, too, need to know that they can lose respect points. “I have that paper; I’ll print it out right after class.” Or not. “Traffic was really bad this morning.” Funny how it seems to be “really bad” every time class meets at 8:00. Neither of these situations is of major import – except for the fact that there is something called “the truth,” and those who play fast and loose with “the truth” are not, in my mind, deserving of as much respect as those who consider it a rather major requirement for human communication. Those of you who do, take some more respect points. From me at least.

I’m not even going to start on the sports figure who talks about being “disrespected” because he is offered only twenty million dollars to play next year. Language like that shows just as much of a lack of understanding of the word as the student who can’t discern the truth from the not truth, the adult who does not seem to understand the responsibilities that come with being considered a professional. And Aretha, she says the same.

Aretha too.

What, Me Worry?

Many are worrying these days about the next four years; here are some of the things I wake up in the middle of the night worrying about:

Whatever happened to the ablative? And is it a case? a tense? a mood?, a voice? And why don’t people understand what I just said?

When’s the last time you saw anybody drinking Ovaltine?

Why weren’t people 30 years ago allergic to gluten?

Do companies really spend all that time changing their menu options? Why, for heaven’s sake?

Am I doing enough to take care of my dog’s teeth?

Why do people get tattoos?

Who invented the Big Gulp? And why isn’t he in prison?

Is there anybody else around who remembers when the number of McDonalds hamburgers sold was in the hundred thousands?

Are they even still counting?

How did we live with only three TV channels? And no instant replay.

Do you really think I’m going to be more careful about driving into your car’s rear end because you have a baby on board?

How EVER did we make it through the day before we had water bottles to carry with us everywhere, giving us the ability to “hydrate” at a moment’s notice?

Hydrate? Gimme a break.

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Upper School Highlights From September 2016