American politician and former professional basketball player Bill Bradley once remarked, “Respect your fellow human being.”
I’ve been thinking a lot about those five little words lately – respect your fellow human being.
I turned 47 this year – spending almost five decades living, learning, loving, losing, and hoping that with each passing year, I might find myself living in a world where compassion, empathy, respect, and equality become the moral compass by which all of society acts in accordance with.
But I have to remind myself (continuously) that America’s existence continues to be plagued with hate, division, and self-serving agendas evidently found in government, communities, and organizations across the country.
What’s perhaps most frustrating is that those in positions of power, the so-called leaders who are supposed to set the example for the future generations of our country, are where the hate, division, and self-serving agendas originate.
Unfortunately, that leaves regular individuals like myself and all reading this unable to change what needs changing.
In speaking to more senior members of society, none of this is new, just magnified more based on the advancement of technology to report the news – however skewed at times.
Bradley’s complete quote about respect is as follows: “Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it. No destructive lies. No ridiculous fears. No debilitating anger.”
Sadly, the America I live in today is filled with destructive lies, ridiculous fears, and debilitating anger to help propagate hate, division, and self-serving agendas. Why? Because oftentimes, that’s the only way people can win when they refuse to acknowledge the truth as it rightfully exists.
Look, the truth isn’t always popular, but it’s still the truth at the end of the day. We cannot allow ourselves to create the narrative WE want to hear. That’s not how life works. 2+2 will always equal 4, and much like life, something is either true, or it’s not. It’s up to America whether we’ll finally respect our fellow human beings and accept the truth for what it is.