I remember

9114People everywhere are remembering the day our world changed. On that fateful day 12 years ago I remember exactly where I was.

At the time I was working in a call center for a cell phone company. We hadn’t heard much when I received a call from a woman whose phone automatically transferred her to my department. The woman on the phone that day was frantic. She was a stewardess for United Airlines. She was trying to reach her friends and co-workers. She was supposed to be on one of those planes.

Twelve years later I don’t remember her name but I’ll never forget her voice.

Shortly thereafter we received word that if we wanted to leave work we could go and not face any attendance infractions. 21-month-old MiniMe was in daycare and 7-year-old Beauty was in her second grade class at school. I chose to leave. I knew there was nothing I could do and thankfully I didn’t personally know anyone who was killed that day but I needed to gather my children close and keep them as safe as I knew how. I picked up the girls and we went home. Thankfully they were young enough that they didn’t understand at the time what was going on. I struggled to answer Beauty’s questions in a way that she would understand.

Twelve years later they have learned to live in our post 9/11 world.

I have relatives who have served in the military and a nephew who is a civilian firefighter in Afghanistan. There’s a local family who lost a son a few years ago. We live in a small community and the day he was brought home everything stopped. The motorcade from the airport to the high school gym where his memorial service was held was one of the most amazingly heart wrenching things I’ve ever experienced. Beauty and I were on the freeway and every overpass was filled with people. The fence along side the freeway was filled with flags.  Cars pulled over to the side of the road to show respect for this fallen soldier who was one of our own. I was one of those cars.

I am thankful every day for the men and women in uniform who work so hard to make sure that our world is safe. Whether it’s a military uniform or our firefighters, EMTs, police and sheriffs, all of them are working together to make sure that we in this country are safe.

For this, I thank you.

My response to the Daily Prompt

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R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me!

No, I’m not channeling Aretha.

Lately I’ve noticed that most many a lot some of today’s youth have no idea what respect actually means. I changed that to “some” because I do happen to know quite a few young people who are very respectful and I don’t want them to think I’m just making a grand assumption that everyone is like this.

Respect isn’t something that you can just demand. In most cases it must be earned.

Respect isn’t something that just happens. I respect a lot of people, even if I don’t agree with their choices.

Lying isn’t a form of respect. Not for yourself or for anyone else. Lying is wrong. Even more so when it hurts those around you. Stealing is right there too. Stealing from a store is illegal and is one of the many reasons we end up paying more and more for the things we need. I don’t care how big the store is or what it is that was taken. It all affects the bottom line and the paying customers have to make up for what you took without paying.

Saying please and thank you are a way of showing respect. They show that you appreciate what was done or given to you.

Not allowing those around you to act mean and ugly to you would be considered self-respect. Each of us deserves someone who genuinely cares and wants to help us succeed in life. Surrounding yourself with people who are always negative and don’t care about others feelings isn’t respecting yourself. It shows the world that you don’t think you’re worthy of anything better. You’re wrong! You are worth so much more!

There are a lot of little ways we can show respect for those around us. Sometimes it’s just smiling at the person you pass on the street. Maybe it’s offering to hold the door for that young mom who looks like she’s so overwhelmed she’s ready to burst into tears at any moment. Maybe it’s seeing the little flowerbed in front of your neighbor’s house is full of weeds and that neighbor is elderly and can’t get out there on their own so you clean it up for them.

Being respectful isn’t difficult. It’s really not rocket science. We teach our children manners when they’re little hoping they will learn to be respectful adults. Somewhere along the line some of these young people have missed something. They seem to have a sense of entitlement that comes off as arrogance and disrespect. They think just because they’ve reached a certain age, people should just automatically respect them. I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way. If all you’ve done is be a jerk to the people around you, including me, I’m certainly not going to respect you. Being a liar and a thief isn’t going to earn my respect either.

This isn’t necessarily directed at any one person. Just so I’m clear on that. This is happening all over our country. A young man and his brother set off bombs that killed 3 and seriously injured over 200 people because they wanted respect. (Ok, that’s my own opinion on the situation but I’m sure I’m not alone) How much respect do you think he’s going to get from a jury?

I found this quote and it seems very fitting in today’s society.

“The world is passing through troublesome times. The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint. They talk as if they knew everything, and what passes for wisdom with us is foolishness with them. As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behavior and dress.” Peter the Hermit (A.D. 1274)

Ok, so apparently this was happening in 1274 too. Somehow that doesn’t make me feel any better.