Showing respect

August 8, 2014 

Being asked to submit my views in this forum came as a shock to me.

Maybe I’m just not used to anyone wanting my opinion on anything. I have never even submitted a letter to the editor.

So, I plan to take advantage of this opportunity, and will happily share with you my random thoughts on various topics.

I feel that, at certain times, there is a significant lack of respect for others in this nation today. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution grants me freedom of speech. I thoroughly enjoy using that freedom. I use it freely to discuss current issues, candidates and duly elected officials, both pro and con. I also use this freedom to offer my views on religion in general and my faith in particular.

But here’s where I have to be careful. If I vehemently disagree with the views or proposed policies of an elected government official, do I properly express my disapproval? The question lies in the area of showing my displeasure while offering proper respect for the position. I believe we all will agree that proper respect is due to those in ruling positions. This means those who rule our nation, our state, our county and our city. Not only do we have a biblical command to honor those who rule, but it our civic duty to do so in order to have properly functioning government.

I recently caught myself being disrespectful. I could have taken the opportunity to hear a certain public official speak, and I declined. While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with my declining, it wasn’t necessary for me to add graphic remarks about what I thought of that particular individual. Wrong attitude — extreme lack of respect, I’m still working on it.

During political campaigns, it would be nice to see more respect shown. While we as voters have a certain amount of responsibility to be respectful of the candidates, they really owe us some respect as well. When we are given information about issues or candidates, we should be given the truth and nothing but. Half-truths, lies and smear tactics show, in my opinion, a severe lack of respect for everyone involved.

Sharing my views here with you will not change the world, I realize that. My hope is always that we can each of us look to what we can do to make our part of the world a better place. I can do my part by remembering to always give respect to where respect is due. Maybe I should follow Thumper’s advice: “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all.”

David Coffelt is a Harrisonville resident and is CEO of Coffelt Land Title, Inc.

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