While reading books, blog posts and trying to learn in general, one comes across sentences and ideas that bear particular relevance to the present. This can be remarkably stunning when the persons involved are long dead. What’s captured in those moments is the essence of human nature. That collection of values and principles hard wired into our very souls.
Respect is one of the many shared and treasured values of mankind. You find it in every culture and people group throughout history. Respect for one’s elders. Respect for one’s family. Respect for one’s self. Respect even for one’s enemies.
“From Cyrus through Alexander,” Steven Pressfield said, “to the Greeks and Romans and on down to Rommel and the Afrika Korps, today’s enemy was considered tomorrow’s potential friend—and thus granted his full humanity.”
Said another way, today’s enemy should be seen a likely friend tomorrow—and treated with both dignity and respect.
How do we measure up? Are we succeeding in treating our enemies respectfully?
It seems we are far too quick to demonize and dehumanize our rivals.
How can we unite, work together and be friends again after such brutal attacks?
Who wins if everyone only serves to ratchet things up in a never ending game of one-ups-manship?
An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth leaves a blind and slobbery world in the end.
I’m for ratcheting things down, lowering the temperature and introducing respect back into the conversation.
Because the other game isn’t one we should be playing in the first place.
It requires discipline to hold your tongue and to listen instead of speaking. It takes discipline to control your emotions and respond instead of react.
Engage discipline. Bring it to bear on your conversations with your enemy. In the end, it might save more than your neck. It might just save your country as well.