Respect should be a given

Published 5:29 pm Thursday, November 30, 2017

America was stunned after recent allegations were revealed against Matt Lauer, a longtime Today Show host. A colleague came forward, detailing instances of Lauer’s sexual misconduct. NBC subsequently fired the TV journalist, stating the company believes there was more than one incident.

Lauer is the latest public figure to be accused of sexual assault and/or harassment. A long string of celebrities and politicians have been accused, from Harvey Weinstein to Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. The unfortunate part of all this is the allegations appear to be true. These men took advantage of women and violated them in a despicable way.

Something has to change. Sexual misconduct has almost certainly occurred throughout human history; it’s only recently that people are speaking out about it. This signals a major problem in our society. Perpetrators deserve the consequences coming their way and should be brought to justice, but the larger problem here is that these people should’ve been taught to better respect human beings before these actions occurred.

There seems to be an increase in violence lately, including shootings, bombings and the like. Politicians have no remorse over denigrating colleagues. This type of environment breeds disrespect on all levels. From birth, children should be taught the value of a fellow man. It’s an age-old concept: “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” However, following this concept seems to be difficult for many.

It’s time to do better. Respect should be a given. It’s not OK to violate another person — in any way. Instead of waiting to prosecute a perpetrator, let’s teach young men early on to offer the utmost respect for women. By the same token, let’s teach young ladies to do the same for their male counterparts.

If steps are taken to teach respect, maybe — just maybe — there won’t be a string of wrongdoing thrown into the spotlight, as is the case now. The hope is there will at least be less of it.