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At a time in which we've paid our respects for President George H.W. Bush, and think about the model he was for RESPECT for others (just think of the relationship he later developed with President Bill Clinton, to whom he lost his presidential re-election bid), can we all just pause and take a moment to think about how we treat each other?

It’s OK to have opinions, and to think about ourselves, but we seem to have lost our way when it comes to respect for others. Think about it. The other day I beeped my horn at a car. Without hesitation, I was greeted with a one-finger salute. Well, I was trying to get the driver’s attention because she had left her nice new metallic coffee cup on the roof of her car (that she probably paid a lot for), but she reacted like I insulted her first born.

What I experienced seems to be the norm with people these days. It just seems that our first or immediate reaction is to be defensive or want to fight back. And things have reached nuclear proportions when it comes to politics.

I know, and I don’t care what side of the aisle (or tracks) you’re from, but our leaders and role models aren’t doing their best job at leading by example when it comes to civility and respect. So how about we start at the grass roots level. The next time someone says something that is contrary to your beliefs or point of view, instead of lashing out in kind, how about just listening, and simply just respecting that person’s “diversity of thought.”

I understand, people think that by not responding they are conceding the other person’s point. However, studies actually show that the more you keep the conversation going, even though you think you are making your point, the more you are actually helping that other person in getting their point out. So try to be respectful.

Let’s try to move forward as a Community. In the words of an older generation, “let bygones be bygones.” Or in the words of the wise Rafiki from "The Lion King," “put the past behind you!”

Thank you President Bush for the example you set, and for reminding us of how “The Greatest Generation” showed RESPECT and had manners.

Have a great day.

Mike Oropallo


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