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Thursday, April 5, 2012

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

What does it mean to me?

I could go two different directions with this blog.  First, I could get into how I think kids need to show more respect these days.  Second, I can discuss what I think it means to be a respectful person towards others.  I'm going with the latter.

As I left Grinnell this afternoon I inadvertently joined a funeral procession.  I was bringing up the rear of the procession and didn't even realize I was the caboose on a train of mourners.  In all honesty, I was getting a little frustrated about 5 miles out of town because of the long line of cars I was following that refused start a passing trend.  The clock in my car kept haunting me as I tried to figure out if 50 mph speeds would get me back to Newton in enough time to get Cailyn to preschool.  It wasn't until the train of cars formed an S around some curves that I saw the hearse leading the pack.  My suspicions of these cars coming from a funeral were turned into realization.  Immediately the tension in my shoulders relaxed as I set my mind on enjoying a drive on this beautiful spring day and reminded myself that Cailyn could be a few minutes late to preschool.

After I saw the hearse I finally understood why some of the east bound cars were pulling over along the side of the road until our train passed.  It hadn't occurred to me earlier because not all of the cars we met were pulling over. I realized that the cars that did were showing one thing:  Respect.

I don't know if it is a common law that you should pull over for a funeral procession on a highway.  If this was taught in drivers ed it has slipped into the dark expanse of my memory.  My memory does hold the knowledge of always giving a funeral procession the right a way whether they are on the right or not. 

As I continued to follow the grief filled vehicles along the curves and hills of Highway 6, I made notice of the oncoming cars that would pull over as well as those that didn't.  I tried to catch a sun glistened glimpse of the drivers that pulled over to see if they were of an older generation.  The majority of them that I saw were older than myself which made me think...perhaps these people just understand what a simple act of respect is.  By pulling over they are in a way tipping their hats to those saying goodbye to a loved one. 

What was interesting were the cars that didn't pull over.  I counted 3 company vehicles that whizzed on by.  Not a very good advertising technique if you ask me.  My feathers were really fluffed when one car pulled over and the car that was behind this car actually flew on by the pulled over car!  The driver failed to reduce his speeds or show an awareness of any of his surroundings.

God speed to those that pulled over.  These are the people who say thank you in a check out lane and hold doors open for the people behind them.  These are the men and woman who think about others before themselves.  They are willing to give a friendly smile, acknowledge a job well done, and offer to help those in need.  These are the people who know how to show respect. 

I love it when such a simple part of life brings out an awareness of self and others.  I'm proud to say that I was raised to be respectful to others and from now on, when I see a funeral procession heading towards me, I will pull over to show my condolences. 

What do you do to show respect?

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