I want to thank those people who responded to my recent post on Linkedin, regardless of whether you agree with the opinion stated.
Painful as it might be for some parts of our community, the interpretation of sections its application has irrevocably changed.
The previous view that authority, seniority, experience, tradition, status and wealth were the basis for believing respect is essential to be shown to a person or entity, seems not to carry weight anymore.
The reasons for this change are numerous, a combination of elements of how we live our lives today. Significant structural changes in a range of matters such as how we communicate, sweeping adopted society behavioural events and a severe loss of faith in our leaders both in politics and business. We can add to that community expectations and in some cases, greed.
As can be seen from the results of the A.B.C. survey, many Australians mourn and lament declining levels of respect in our society. The fact is whatever sentimental feelings we may have; it is hard to envision that we can revive the principles that underpinned its meaning. In modern society, there are too many factors which impede our ability to convince the population to recognise the decline on a national scale. If it has any hope of success, it can only be achieved by ground roots activity.
As the American anthropologist Margaret Mead once said:
” Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”.
Therefore if we are genuine about the need to respond to views expressed in that survey, we must turn our attention to find ways we can promote better relationships between people ( including with those whom we disagree).
I am aware the above quotation has been repeated many times over the years, but to my mind, it still has relevance. She went on to say in other speeches that “Change begins with you.”
That has to be the starting point; the continuing decline in how we interact with each other this will only be achieved through the action by individuals. The truth is we are moving away from an authoritarian society, and those individuals who collaborate with others can create better outcomes.
So what are questions we all need to answer in our understanding of respect?
How do you personally define respect?
Why do you think people should show you respect?
What contribution do you personally make in generating respect in your circle of influence?
Some may claim this is a fruitless exercise to promote such theories, but given our current position we act, or we accept the fate that relations in this beautiful country will continue to decline.