Pull up a church pew; I’m preaching today. R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to...getting this country back on track, training our children to be high-functioning members of our society, and fixing the culture of hatred that is thriving under the current administration.

Do you hear that? That’s the sound of half the readers scrolling past my entry this week. For those of you that made it this far, I want to address some issues we have in this country in regards to respect. We have completely lost the concept of basic human respect in this country. No, I’m not just talking about our current government leaders, or even a specific party. Both sides take any chance they have to criticize the other party without considering its opinion or analyzing what its members actually believe. We are alarmists and we are harmful right now.

Somehow it has become acceptable to disrespect another human being based upon his values. This behavior starts in the home. Parents, please be mindful of how you talk around your children. While it is completely legitimate to be frustrated with the political climate, you should not be overexposing young children to the aggressive rhetoric and arguing on either side. When children are overexposed to fighting and personal attacks, they might believe that this behavior is acceptable.

We are steadily approaching Thanksgiving, a holiday in which families gather with extended family members. In many cases, you will be sharing a meal with some people that have very different opinions. This is a great opportunity to expose your children to respectful conversations rather than heated, emotional arguments.

The more we do to expose our children and youth to respectful conversations and arguments, the better off our society will be. Right now, everyone is approaching each other with fear and anger. This doesn’t have to be the way in which we as a country interact. It’s time to re-learn respect. We have to teach our children to respect each other for their similarities and their differences. Respect is all about acknowledging what makes us different from our fellow man and accepting each other’s ways of life (barring threats to our personal safety and well-being).

The holiday season is a time for peace; let’s also use it as a time for healing. Lead by example and make a difference by respecting others. Teach this behavior to your children and reinforce it in your partners, coworkers, friends, community members, etc. Bringing respect back to the forefront of our communication is the first step to uniting as a country. Change begins with you; do your part to promote respect.

-          Bria