Bringing the lost virtue of respect back into fashion
My latest story in the current issue of OSV Newsweekly:
If you are of a certain age, you might remember the late comedian Rodney Dangerfield’s signature line: “I don’t get no respect.” Back then it was funny, mainly because most of us were used to giving respect to our elders and getting respect from our children, so Dangerfield proved to be a silly misfit. But today that line has gone from one man’s stand-up joke to American society’s everyday reality.
Respect, it seems, is on the decline, especially among young people. Sometimes the problem comes out in obvious ways — the teenager who texts throughout a holiday dinner, for example — but more often than not, lack of respect is much more subtle, coming out in ways that have been embraced by a larger culture that is more informal, less concerned with manners, and inclined to defer to the wishes of children.
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