I grew up in Motown (Detroit) and grew up hearing Aretha Franklin belt out “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me.” That soulful tune epitomized the struggle of a woman just wanting to be respected.

This morning I had a doctor’s appointment that required me to fast for blood work. After the appointment I was hungry and stopped at one of my favorite home style restaurants for a good ole’ fashion country breakfast. A friendly, family restaurant we a good number of elderly people seeking their first meal of the day. I was met with a volley of “good morning” as I entered and walked to my table–what a friendly place filled with a friendly bunch.

The two couples sitting at the table next to me thought they were whispering, but actually talking loud enough for everyone in the room to hear. They were discussing their Covid vaccinations. One lady said “it caused my arm to hurt.” Another responded “I really didn’t get sick at all.” Nothing more that a casual conversation between two couples waiting for their breakfast.

The friendly atmosphere of the room was abruptly interrupted by a brash young, sitting with some of his buddies, at another table. In a loud voice, he challenged the elderly couples with why they got the vaccination anyway. He then broke into a monologue of all the reasons why someone should not be vaccinated. The table with the elderly couples looked shell shocked.

My first internal response was “why doesn’t he pick on someone his own size!?” He was younger, bigger and louder than his mild target. My second though was “how rude and disrespectful.” His rudeness and disrespect made it difficult for anyone to hear what he might have had to say.

Looking around I assumed that most people there were church going people. This young man may have gone to church every Sunday and considered himself a Bible believing Christian. I wonder what he would do with I Peter 2:17…”Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the Emperor.” (NIV).

It has nothing to do with what he believed to be right or wrong–It had a lot to do with the common courtesy to “respect eveyone.”

We could all do with a little more R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

This is my story…