This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
November 12th, 2006

A Little Respect

It's the time of year when we start thinking about 'the holidays.' Thanksgiving is next week and the stores have been hawking turkeys well in advance. One of our local stores has an extensive ready cooked selection, and another new 'Quick Cooking' section. The former has the gravy, mashed potatoes, dressing, baked sweet potatoes - all but the turkey. The second one has everything prepared but not cooked. A real time saver, but not cheap either.

As with most of our national holidays now, the emphasis in not on the reason for the celebration, it's about good food, sales, and time off from work. Not to say the people who prepare the dinner aren't working. It may be a labor of love, but it is labor - especially if you are feeding a crowd.

At least for this holiday, we should take the time to express our gratitude. Be grateful, give thanks.

When my daughters were still living at home, we had a tradition where each person around the table had to tell what they were grateful for. We usually started with the youngest, as Art Linkletter use to say, "Kids say the darndest things." It did give us all a look from their perspective. The father was usually the last person to speak, and in some homes his words took the form of a Thanksgiving prayer. A nice touch.

These days, dinner is more likely to be served during half-time of a football game. For most it still is a time of family gatherings, and that is a good thing. But there are all too many homes where the father isn't present. Single parents trying to raise kids. A very tough job.

And it is getting worse. Divorce was a 'dirty word' when we grew up. Marriage was expected between adults, and 'hooking up' was not accepted. So marriage numbers are down, and about half of those who do marry are divorced later. Not much of an example for the kids, and while the parents may fare better out of the marriage, the kids will be affected forever.

Not a good sign for what's left of our culture or our country for that matter.

My husband JC and I went to a very nice concert a couple of weeks ago. This was a very well known orchestra from the Netherlands and the show was sold out.

We drove to the ferry, parked our car and took a cab up to the Key Arena. We had decent seats, and as we sat waiting for the concert to begin, we were people watching. And absolutely in shock. Sitting a row or two in front of us were some people in their thirties in cargo shorts and torn tee shirts. Across the aisle was a man in painter's overalls! They were not alone. Probably three fourths of the audience was dressed for a hike in the mountains. Or something.

Two years ago we attended a concert by the same orchestra up in Vancouver, British Columbia, and did make note of how well dressed the audience was. As if going to a nice concert was an event to be respected. It seemed to us the Seattle audience disrespected the performance by their dress. I mentioned that to a lady on the ferry coming back, and she said, "well, Seattle is very casual."

Casual? Try skuzzy.

Some may think appearance doesn't matter. But isn't it a reflection on your own self worth and self esteem?

My problem with the lack of respect shown by those who dressed so skuzzy, is their mental attitude carries on over to everything else they do. Would you hire someone who came to a job interview looking like they just crawled out from under a rock? (These were not kids, but adults with enough money to purchase an expensive ticket.) How about date/marry your daughter?

Opps, sorry shouldn't have said the "m" word.

Do they fish? Are they the ones who won't obey the laws? Have no respect for the traditions? Have a thousand dollars or more worth of fly fishing equipment and think they have the right to fish right where you're standing? Or paddle through where you are casting? Fish closed water? Kick fish back into the water? Know nothing about the ethics of fly fishing? And don't care?

It is all part of the same thing. And I wonder what these people are grateful for. Do they have any gratitude at all? Do they expect the world owes them a living? An education? A life? Are they grateful to their parents? Anyone? Anything?

Remember the signs in restaurants? No Shoes - No Service? And in other places, No Shirt was also included. They made it stick. So why do we allow these attitudes in our society? Does everything have to be allowed? Adults dressing like junior high school students is just inappropriate. Is poor taste and stupidity an excuse for all bad behavior? Who (besides Judge Judy) actually insists people be responsible for their own actions?

How about a little respect? And some gratitude would be nice. ~ LadyFisher

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