Respecting Others

A flippant, frivolous person may ridicule others, may controvert (fall out from them, argue against, and bicker with) them, scorn them; but he who has any respect for himself seems to have renounced the right of thinking meanly of others. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

I miss some of the old values. That of charity, respect, dignity, honor... the things Goethe refers to in both the quotes that I share.

I have to admit, I cannot watch the presidential debates. Notice the language Goethe uses (thinking meanly of others). Attacking, vilifying, mocking, slandering, accusing, despising, cursing... rude interruptions, utter disregard for the basic rules of civil discourse... 

By the way, the outstanding book by Os Guinness, The Case for Civility: And Why Our Future Depends On It, may be more timely than ever.  Click here and scroll down to read a description of the book.

This is now standard operating procedure for presidential debates!?! 
The highest office of one of the great nations-civilizations in human history will be "seized" by thinking and speaking meanly of others! Even those who try not to think or speak meanly, soon find themselves looking "wimpish" and "weak" by not going on the attack.

What is it that leads us to "think meanly of others" and to fully justify our mean thinking?

Goethe refers to the flippant, frivolous qualities. I would like to add others.

The insecure and anxious person thinks meanly of others (in an attempt to bolster one's own insecurity). Pull the other down as a means to lift yourself up!
The narcissist thinks meanly of others (especially when they grab the attention the narcissist wants on them self).
The angry person thinks meanly of others.
The jealous, envious person thinks meanly of others.
The person with low self-esteem, low self-image, and low "self-respect" thinks meanly of others.

These issues are not easily solved, resolved, healed or overcome. That does not excuse the immediate need to point them out, and give vigourous attention to their healing and our recovery.

For this, Jesus Christ and his transformative love, power and wisdom are available.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International