A sad state of affairs has befallen us, comrades. Where, pray tell, has our allegiance to respect gone?
Respect. RESPECT. R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
re·spect [ri-spekt] noun
3. esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability: I have great respect for herjudgment.
4. deference to a right, privilege, privileged position, or someone or something considered to have certain rights or privileges; proper acceptance or courtesy; acknowledgment: respect for a suspect’sright to counsel; to show respect for the flag; respect for the elderly.
Please for my edification, reread that entire definition.
Now, we shall begin.
Why would someone swear a vow before God and country to wear the cloth of their nation, yet consistently act like a nitwit when in the cloth and out?
Why would, as an E-4 and E-3, respectively – serving the United States Army would, when your door is knocked on at an odd hour of the evening and you are politely and firmly asked to turn down whatever racket is blasting through your speakers, assume that the person asking you is of equal or lesser rank to you? In the Marine Corps, as a rough and ready, Lance Corporal, if someone is banging on your hatch, you instantly get a butt-hole-pucker and immediately assume the person banging on your hatch is the base Sergeant Major and you’re relieved to see it’s ‘just’ a Corporal. When a Marine Corps Staff Sergeant knocks on the door of an a couple of non-NCO soldiers, he does not expect to be taken as lightly as he was.
Fast-forward to the next morning around 1030. I hear THUMMMMMMBBBBB THUMMMMMMBBBBB and I bolt out of bed on ’11’!
BANG, BANG, BANG!
“Hey guy, I was over here last night asking you to turn ratchet down the bass because I’m hearing and feeling it through the wall.”
Was the response, “No sweat SSgt. We’ll turn it down. Sorry about that.”
Nope. I got, “I don’t think it’s too loud and we hear your music all the time.”
Baffled, I respond with, “If I can hear it, it’s too loud. You also never hear my music. If you do, please feel free to come on over and I’ll turn it down for you, because I’m not a dumbass.”
“You don’t need to get all crazy…I don’t think it’s too loud.”
Enraged and unable to choke him, “Turn down the fucking music!” As I walked away before I’d be writing this from the MP cans.
What the hell?!
The same thing happened with the Marine across the hall.
This is how it went down.
“SCRAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWW WHRAAAAAAATGH BLAAAAAAARGH”
I’m thinking WTF?! I bolt to my door; fling it open and discover it’s the motivated, fellow Belleau Woodsman across the hall.
BANG, BANG, BANG
Door opens. “Hey SSgt.”
“What’s up, buddy? Is there some reason you’re sharing your music with everyone?”
“Sorry, SSgt. I’ll turn it down.”
“Right on. I appreciate it.”
Not even the HINT of an issue since then.
I do not for the life of me understand why someone could consciously be so inconsiderate, especially in a joint barracks.
When did we get to the point where we stopped looking at our fellow-people as PEOPLE?
Why are we as a society so short on Respect? So, just because no one is going to stop you, you’re just going to do whatever you want and everyone can just deal with it?
Do what’s right, gentlemen. Do not cause your neighbor any discomfort or aggravation. Unto all people, extend kindness.
I don’t care if you like them or agree with their lifestyle – extend to them kindness.
You are encouraged to have your opinions. You’re permitted to change your opinion based on factual information, previously unknown to you. You will adhere to your principles. The pursuit of comfort is not your mission in life, as a gentleman. Your goal is to be a beacon of light in a world plunged into an inky, selfish darkness. You will never be perfect, but you will daily strive for it. You will master your profession at your level and constantly seek those who know more than you and learn from them, constantly learning and seeking self-improvement. You will find: with discipline and perseverance – you will discover comfort in rightness. Comfort in being a gentleman, unwavering in conviction and respect.
Gentlemen, I am not saying you are perfect, as stated before. This is the turning point. The reinvention, the reapplication of your resolve to be what society needs – Gentlemen.
Go forth, Gentlemen and be the men this world needs.