OK, folks. As you may have noticed, Resetting Respect has been quiet for the last year or so. Brain freeze. What’s been going on in the political arena and its ringside has been so appalling that I haven’t known where to begin.
However, the times are acrimonious. The discussions are heated and hurtful. The actions of some are unconscionable. And my conscience has been taking a blowtorch to my brain freeze and suggesting I get over it, get on with it, and get the word out. So….
Resetting Respect, the book, is about respecting everyone and everything (including all the voters, their attendant camps and campers) for the value that each and every human has. According that respect need not infringe on anyone’s rights and privileges because that’s where self-respect comes in. Self-respect means that we each require from others the respect for the value in us that we offer to them.
If we are to reset the respect in our society, we need to do it with actions, with the way we treat other people, with the way we talk with other people. We desperately need to have conversations about difficult topics. And we need those conservations to be had respectfully, empathetically, carefully, and looking toward the future, not the past. The conversations need to be had among families, friends, relatives, the choir, the other’s choir, the neighborhood, and the random encounters that so often color our daily lives.
Just as the philosophy underlying Resetting Respect can guide the way, I also believe the stories and “How to Respect …” lists in the book can help by priming the pump, so to speak. By showing just how easily and frequently we can demonstrate respect simply by smiling, by listening, by checking our impulse to respond angrily to perceived thoughtlessness. Resetting Respect suggests many ways to restore us to civil society — immediately!
And by the way, Resetting Respect isn’t just for children. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had people respond to my description of the book by saying, “Oh, every child should read that!” Well, I think the actions we’ve seen, the words we’ve heard, and the comments we’ve read recently (and sometimes committed ourselves!) are proof that respect is lacking across all ages and strata of our American society right now. We all need a refresher course!
So if you’re dreading the next big family dinner or office party because of the heated conversations you fear may erupt, if you’re avoiding certain people on your daily circuit, if you’ve unfriended old friends on Facebook, I suggest you order a copy of Resetting Respect right away for some practical ideas about dealing with those people and situations. And, in the hope of changing the tones of our public and private worlds, I suggest you make Resetting Respect a stocking stuffer or a New Year’s present for everyone you know. What might be a better New Year’s resolution for anyone than to reset their respect attitude?
I’m not looking for royalties. I will happily donate all income from any December sales of paperback or Ebook versions of Resetting Respect (both available from Amazon Digital Services, Inc.) to Habitat for Humanity. I just want to get the word out that there’s a different way of looking at the world, there’s a different way of interacting with the world, and each and every one of us can move our world forward in a positive, respectful way.
Happy New Year!
Debora Wohlford Steininger