Respect For Leaders We Don’t Like

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JP Wilson, Staff Writer

Let’s be honest: when you hear “respect your leaders” you immediately put a qualification in there, such as, “I will respect them if they share my ideas” or, “I will show them the same amount of respect that they give me.”

We are right to not want to subject ourselves to leaders who we don’t agree with, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t respect them. Even if we do not like a leader, we can still respect them and their position of authority.

When we decide to reciprocate the respect or lack thereof, that we feel from other people back to them, we get situations like the last presidential race: Democrats hate Republicans just because they call themselves Republicans, and vice-versa. For as long as I can remember the presidential race has been a mess. President Obama was hammered for eight consecutive years by conservatives, and ever since Donald Trump caught an eye for the office he has had ugly clashes with liberals at every turn. The complete lack of respect for the office of the President of the United States of America is alarming. Brian C. Thomas, a Chicago attorney, says, “If the way people have treated President Obama is wrong, then my going into a Trump presidency yelling that he is not my president is wrong.” Once a president is elected we should be prepared to respect the president, because of their position, even if we don’t fully agree with their standards and beliefs.

In this same way, we should respect all people who have authority over us, for their position, even if we disagree with them as a person. “There is a difference between the position and the person, and being careful to always respect the position and the title is important,” said Jeremy Ferkin, the Centurylink Vice President of Operations for Utah, Nevada, and Idaho. Ferkin has worked under a lot of different leaders and now leads many people. He understands the importance of respecting the position that leaders hold, and the importance of trying to earn the respect of people. In this country, we can voice our complaints and concerns against any leader, but it is very important to remain respectful.

I know the “Golden Rule” is beyond overused and way too cheesy. But, if we respect people the way that we want to be respected, not the way that they respect us, our relationships will all become a lot better. Politics will become a lot less messy. And who knows, maybe if we stop immediately disrespecting and pushing away people who think differently than us, we might learn something.