My apartment building has undergone façade repair for the past two years, which means our building has been encased in scaffolding for the past two years. The scaffolding came down this week!

  1. I am grateful for the scaffolding is down
  2. I am grateful that there will no longer be construction noise taking place outside the windows
  3. I am grateful that there will no longer be men who might be right outside my window from any point between 9 and 5
  4. I am grateful that I can wash my windows and they might stay clean for more than a minute
  5. I am grateful that we will be able to use the roof deck once again

My journal prompt for the week is RESPECT (this follows suit with the words I discussed recently) Here’s how it appeared in the books that I’m reading:

  1. But I’m a good guy I swear. I’ve never treated the women in my life with anything other than the utmost respect. Lisa Jewell
  2. She (Edna Lewis) published The Taste of Country Cooking in 1976 but it feels new, organized by seasonal menus, focused on respecting ingredients, and capped off with understated stories of country life. Jane Mount
  3. On tough days, it helps to treat your body with dignity and respect. Eveline Helmink
  4. …it wasn’t children controlled excessively by their parents, but children whose choices and independence had been respected that obtained the skills necessary to be the most successful in the marshmallow test. Fumio Sasaki
  5. Over time, you’ll have more access to this space, and if you remain respectful of its different quality of time, you can reap tremendous benefits from it in your life. Pedram Shojai
  6. She bowed and greeted him in Vietnamese, as it was expected of her to greet her elders with respect, even though the man was creepier than a dark alleyway at night. Carolyn Huynh
  7. I respect my readers assessment that there’s a problem. But they’re readers. I’m the author; I’m the one who’s trying to decide how I fix it in the context of what I’m trying to do. Graeme Simsion
  8. You are good and you deserve respect and kindness. Natasha Solomons
  9. He listens as he was taught to listen: respectfully. Julia Cameron
  10. I behaved stupidly out of respect for the law. Hugh Eakin
  11. When Marcelo was around, people looked at us differently- with respect and with fear because of Marcelo’s big muscles, scary face, tattoos that peeked out from his sleeves. Javier Zamora
  12. (Keeping our entrance clean) instills in us a respect for our home as a sacred place. Marie Kondo
  13. There’s something in his tone as he says it, something incredibly self aware, the noun carrying a respect I haven’t often heard it imbued with. Catherine Steadman

How I’m thinking about RESPECT:

  1. Do we pattern a behavior of respect for our children?
  2. Are respect and fear intertwined?
  3. Do we deserve respect or is it earned?
  4. If an older relative is mean or whatever, do they deserve respect because they are older?

35 thoughts on “Gratitude and Mindfulness: 11/19/22

  1. Hmm, I’ll give 2 of your questions a try. I sure hope respect and fear aren’t intertwined. They certainly aren’t in my mind. And, speaking as an old person, no, I do not think respect should be accorded to someone who is nasty because of age, although if it’s unusual behaviour for that person then it’s likely that they have health issues and perhaps should be treated with concern and a little leeway.

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    1. I’m reading books from different cultures, where respect and fear are intertwined, and where elders just assume respect. It’s really something to ponder as different people think differently about this

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    2. It’s an intriguing question about fear and respect. In what cultures do you feel fear and respect are intertwined?

      I remember once reading that Caligula was supposed to say something along the lines of “I don’t care if they respect me so long as they fear me.” And I can see them being separate: The Pointy Hair Manager in Dilbert might be feared, but is he respected?

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      1. I’m reading Solito, a memory about a boy who had to use couriers to get to America to rejoin his parents…from Central America. He speaks of the respect for the guys who are menacing and have rumors circulating about things they may or may not have done. To a certain extent there is fear/respect for certain organized crime members


    1. I’m reading a few books that represent different cultures, and yes, that’s why I came up with this. Other cultures firmly believe in the respect thing. My example from real life is that two months ago, when my daughter bought her train tickets for thanksgiving, she asked her grandfather (my fil) when he was available to get together during the week. He told her to wait and see. A month ago, he complained that we were going to my parents for thanksgiving which we always do. Then last week he texts my daughter about dinner. Well, you know my daughter has made plans…it’s a short visit…she’s celebrating her birthday with nyc friends, she’s made plans with me, so she’s got Saturday morning she can do brunch. In his mind he should come first, but was he respectful of her schedule etc…

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  2. I do think you should treat elders with respect, but if they are not actually deserving of the respect, then you should do your best to avoid them. Fear is an emotional response to someone; respect is a way of treating someone. Unfortunately some people do try to get respect by instilling fear, but if they are successful they are only getting submission probably accompanied by (usually hidden) dislike or hatred.

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    1. I’ve been overthinking this. A few months ago I wrote about my nephew who got kicked off a teen tour for drinking. He didn’t respect the leaders, the rules, the law, his peers, his parents or the money. If he’d had a little fear, would he have acted differently?

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      1. Good point. I have to say that some fear of consequences in this case would have been healthy. I hope there were consequences from many realms so he can grow up. This is the kind of kid that makes my generation fear for the future.

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      2. There’s a difference between healthy fear and not healthy. Imagine if a little kid didn’t year putting their hand on a hot burner? You need to respect things like that…

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  3. Coming from someone who went all through Catholic School, I can say unashamedly that fear does lead to respect.
    But there’s a big difference between DEmanding respect and COmmanding respect.

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  4. Oh how I love these questions and I’m always in debate with friends over our answers.
    Respect is definitely earned. Regardless of our age, you have to give it in order to receive it.

    I’m so happy that your building is free from scaffolding! It seems like once they throw it up in New York it never comes down. It would seem odd not seeing it up asa I walk through the city.
    Do they decorate the deck for Christmas?

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  5. I had no idea you were enduring construction. How annoying.

    We occasionally demand respect from our boys; but, boy oh boy, they do not give it unless THEY feel it’s earned. You can lead a horse to water, but it’s gonna kick over the trough if it’s an obstinate boy.

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  6. Growing up I was taught to respect your elders and adults in general. I taught my children the same lesson and my son taught his children it as well. Do all older people deserve respect? Probably not. But I find that if you treat most folks respectfully they will respond more positively. But even if they are cantankerous I usually feel that politeness is the classier way to go. Can I always do that? Nope. But I do try. And responding and letting someone know that their attitude should be toned down a notch can also be eye opening to the person being cranky.

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    1. It’s a lot about expectations I guess…is the expectation of the older person reasonable within the context? Do they just expect you to say yes cause they’re older

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      1. Probably. Then again, lately I’ve experienced extreme ageism. So maybe some older folks are fighting back. While my friends love my new gray hair, young people suddenly either find me invisible, or not worthy of existing. As if I have zero value. Or that I’m just a crazy old lady. My friends have also seen this sudden shift in people’s reactions with anyone lthey consider old. So perhaps the rudeness comes from older folks being treated as valueless or as idiots. I noticed this in my most recent surgery. The younger nurses were actually rude to the anesthesia doctor who was clearly in his late 60’s ( who I found absolutely charming) and dismissed me as a dotty old lady until my doc came in and yelled at them saying, “ Don’t use that on her she’s allergic to it. Didnt you read her chart? “ it was the first time I felt old. In fact the nurse that I didn’t like ignored the older anesthesiologist who said she doesn’t get that and then proceeded to give me an extra dose of something and I had a severe allergic reaction to it. The older anesthesiologist came into the recovery room were I was vomiting non stop and yelled at the attending nurse who neglected to give me something for vomiting. Then my oncologist came in and was furious with my treatment. Now this was a different hospital from last time so it could have been new staff, but it was an exceptionally young staff and I felt like for the first time I was treated differently because of my age. Yes, it’s true I expected respect but not because I’m older, but because I’m a person too. I think there’s a new lack of respect happening. And people assume anyone with gray hair is either ancient, stupid or senile. So now I’m super defensive.

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      2. There is medical ageism. When my fathers doctor suspected cancer in early Covid, we had trouble getting him a biopsy because at his age it was considered elective…

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  7. LA that’s crazy that you couldn’t get a biopsy done for your dad. My oncologist is in his early to mid 40’s. And because most gynecological cancers in women happen to ladies 50 and over his clientele is older.( yes he has younger patients but not as many). I thought it was sweet that he was treating women older than I am when I first was there so I guess I was a bit aegist too. At 70 he said, you’re not old. But when I go into surgery my age is indeed a factor. However, I think because we have a great rapport and wonderful intellectual banter he doesn’t think of me as old. But this time I mentioned to him the ageism and he nodded. So he noticed it too. If I need more surgery I won’t use that hospital again. But he was booked up at the other one (both have the latest technology in robotic surgery so he operates in them both) so I didn’t have a choice. But I noticed a big difference this time. And that is scary to think about. I guess I will soon need geriatric nurses. That sucks. But the nice thing is my doc treats everyone with respect. I think I may have mentioned that he Is absolutely adorable. His colleagues are quite handsome as well and the ladies in the infusion room often comment about it. How Their resume states Harvard, Yale and hunk. Lol I guess if you have to have cancer it doesn’t hurt to have a nice looking doctor. But the kind bedside manner is what I like best about him.

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