Posted by: sharonseidel | April 10, 2013

R.E.S.P.E.C.T

I heard the news, as all of you would have by now, yesterday afternoon that Margaret Thatcher had died.  I am not going to comment about this but it is the backlash, the lack of respect for this woman and her family that has me flabbergasted.  On ABC’s Q & A program, when host Tony Jones announced that Margaret Thatcher had passed, the response of Dr Brooke Magnanti was “and me with no champagne” (the link to the program is below, the comment appears around 22.50, just scroll through).

www.abc.net.au/iview/#/view/32471

Again, I have no interest in sparking a political debate about Margaret Thatcher, but it highlighted for me the fact that respect has become a foreign concept in our society.  It used to be the case that when someone died, you did not speak ill of the dead, that you paid your respects and held your tongue in deference to those who were grieving their loss.  I have never been in the camp that thinks that a dead person should be considered a saint by virtue of their passing, but I do believe that you must respect the feelings of those left behind. If you don’t have anything nice to say…..

Unfortunately this disrespect has become an epidemic across our society.  How many times have you been flipped off in traffic, shoved in public or sworn at in the street?  Think of the times shop assistants or receptionists have basically told you to go take a running leap at yourself, something which would have got them fired in days gone by.  There was the story about a year ago of the young woman looking for dresses for her bridal party in a Melbourne boutique who was told (reminiscent of Pretty Woman) that there was nothing suitable for her in the store and was called a skank.  When she went to the media, instead of an apology, the manager backed the appalling assistant. WTF!

It doesn’t stop there.  The saddest part is the disrespect that we show ourselves.  We see this in teenage binge drinking, in drug abusers and in the obesity epidemic.  It is encouraged in every fast food ad which encourages customers to add more and more crap food to their order for value’s sake.  How many times have you been encouraged to buy two for the price of one soft drinks or chips or chocolate bars when all you wanted was one little treat.  It encourages the abuse of our bodies and by extension, the erosion of our body  image, and the disappearance of our self respect as we start to beat ourselves up for failing.  How many times have people disregarded the importance of your plans to exercise because they themselves place no value on it?  I remember a workplace where I told them I had “other commitments” which meant that I couldn’t work late hours, because the one time when I was asked if I could work late and I honestly told them that I was meeting a friend at the gym the response was “oh good, then you aren’t doing anything important”  It was completely disrespectful.

Being in this place, making decisions that now support my health, I feel that I am claiming back my self respect.  Those of you reading this have made this same decision, to claim back that part of yourselves, that self image and self respect that had somehow got lost along the way.  I remember in one of Michelle’s mindset lessons she asks the question would you put crap fuel in your car that would damage the engine?  No way, you put in the best fuel you can.  Don’t our bodies deserve at least that much respect? I now proudly change into my exercise clothes before leaving work and make no excuses for the fact that I have an appointment with myself to exercise.  I tell shop assistants frankly that try to sell me extra stuff that I don’t want or need that no, I am not buying two, I only want one or no 75g of ham is not ok, I asked for 50g. I have drawn the line in the sand and I am now learning that respecting my body and me is the most important thing that I can do.

Testify Aretha!!

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