R E S P E C T …

In this modern age disruption and divides, “respect” isn’t being given the “respect” it deserves. So, take a moment to recollect these two songs:

“RESPECT” is a song written and originally released by Otis Redding in 1965 and then became a 1967 hit and signature song for R&B singer Aretha Franklin. While Redding wrote the song as a man’s plea for respect and recognition from a woman, the roles were reversed for Franklin’s version. Franklin’s cover was a landmark for the feminist movement, and is often considered as one of the best songs of the Rock & Roll era. Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:

If you’re walking ’round think’n that the world owes you something ’cause you’re here
You goin’ out the world backwards like you did when you first come here yeah

“RESPECT YOURSELF” the name of a classic soul song by The Staple Singers released in 1971. It is still being sung today by Mavis Staples, an amazing 46 years later, continuing to entertain and inspire audiences around the world. The song was written by singer Luther Ingram and Stax house songwriter Mack Rice. Ingram, who was frustrated with the state of the world at the time, told Rice “black folk need to learn to respect themselves.” Here is an excerpt from the lyrics:

If you disrespect anybody that you run in to
How in the world do you think anybody’s s’posed to respect you

Many people are just too busy. They are self-absorbed and too inwardly-focused to “respect” those around them. Whether it is the cashier ringing up your groceries, the driver in front of you who may be driving too slow in the fast lane, the call center employee who handles customer complaints all day, or the overpaid CEO who is seems to be making deals behind closed doors . . . respect is in short supply.

What you may not know, is that cashier may be working three times as hard as you to support his family, the slow driver in the fast lane may have just been given a cancer diagnosis, the call center employee may have just been verbally abused to the point of shock, and the CEO may be making a deal that may eliminate some jobs, but will double jobs in the longer term. Make the effort to respect them. Even those with religious or political views that you don’t understand or whose values are not aligned with yours, deserve the same amount of respect you would expect to be given to you and your values.

No one ever said life was easy, but believe it or not, it is “easier” when you take the time to respect those around you. And that is why it is so important to remember these two great songs and play them over and over and over in your head. Imagine what a “Respect” movement could do for the world today. Let’s get it started.

Sources:
Motolyrics: ARETHA FRANKLIN – Respect Lyrics, Translation | MotoLyrics.com http://motolyrics.com/aretha-franklin/respect-lyrics.html#ixzz4l8Lk8yRb
Motolyrics: The Staple Singers – Respect Yourself Lyrics | MetroLyrics

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