As I tried to think about what I wanted to write during National Police Week, I kept coming back to “respect”… or the lack thereof for police officers. This lack of respect is so contrary to how I was raised, how I behave, and what I believe that sometimes I can’t even believe what I am seeing, what I am hearing and what I read about the ways people interact with the police. I just have a hard time wrapping my mind around why people automatically disrespect authority. It’s not just police, I know. It’s teachers, it’s the military, it’s President Trump. It seems society’s mantra is “Feel free to disrespect.” Feel free to disrespect anyone who is different from you, anyone who disagrees with you, anyone who believes differently than you. It’s fine.
But, really…is it? No, no it is not. I wonder if this societal lack of respect will be the demise of our society? I began to research this concept to see what others have written about this and I ran across an excerpt from The Power of Respect by Deborah Norville on today.com. I read it with interest and while she didn’t address law enforcement specifically in this excerpt, much of what she said applies. She states that 79% of Americans feel there is less respect in America today. 73% of teachers and 68% of parents believe kids have absorbed this rampant disrespect and bring it to school. As I read what Deborah Norville had to say, I wondered what the publication date of this book was. 2009. Ten years ago.
Ten years ago. Our society identified a general lack of respect for others. Good gosh. What must it be today if 79% of Americans felt disrespect was a problem ten years ago? It certainly hasn’t improved as far as I can tell.
Norville says the power of respect can keep families intact, restore calm to our chaotic classrooms, and save businesses billions of dollars. In order for that to happen, one must put others concerns ahead of their own. She says “Respectful people are trusted.” Wonder if anyone ever thought if they were more respectful to the police, they might have a different type of interaction with them? I suspect they would.
As National Police week wraps up, please remember the fallen, honor the injured, and respect those who are serving.