The actions of Alan Jones, 2GB morning radio announcer, have highlighted the fact that perhaps we need to think more about what we say.
Whilst his comments were supposedly made during a meeting, reportedly a closed meeting, it's interesting how things have a way of getting out. The upshot of what he said was that Julia Gillard (our Prime Minister) was a liar and that her father, who died recently, died of shame.
I couldn't believe that anyone, let alone someone in the public eye could say such a horrid horrid comment. I could not believe that anyone would use the death of someone as the basis of having a go at an individual, making a point about that individual, and especially not while they are still grieving the death of their father.
No matter what he thinks of the Prime Minister and even if, as he says, she is a liar in his view, using her father's death to make a point is just terribly inappropriate and totally wrong.
There has been a great deal of outrage in the community and people have called for him to be sacked. Sponsors have withdrawn their sponsorship of his program and I personally feel rightly so. This is not the first time that Alan Jones has made this type of offensive comment. He is an 'off the cuff' type person and often has a case of FOOT IN MOUTH disease and in fact is well known for saying what he thinks.
Which brings me to the topic of my blog post and that is what has happened to respect and consideration of others and their feelings? What has happened to manners, good old fashioned manners? Something that was taught to us by our parents, well hopefully so. Sometimes there are things that just shouldn't be said, and this was one of those times.
It's simple really: we need to have respect for others and think about what we say, before we say it.
I have always tried to live by the adage "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you". Old fashioned, some may say, but if more people thought about treating others as they would like to be treated, the world I'm sure would be a decidedly nicer place.
I think too that it can be easy for people to be nasty, often it's the easy option. It sometimes takes effort to be kind when someone is treating you in a not so nice way.
My mum used to say to me "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all". Whilst there are times when we do need to say what we think and what we say may be not be nice, we can say it in a way that is not offensive.
Sometimes I find life difficult when dealing with people that behave in a way that is contrary to my thinking. I guess that's my challenge. In this situation my challenge is to continue to behave appropriately no matter how the other person behaves.
Do we as parents teach our children respect for others? I believe that this starts within the home environment. It starts when we teach our children to have respect for us as parents. To have respect and consideration for their brothers and sisters. Sure, it doesn't always work. Kids fight and argue and don't always have respect for one another. But if on the whole we are getting the message through to them, even some of the time, then we are helping to make our mark on the world.
So are we respectful and considerate of other people? Do we show that to our children? Do we allow them to see an example of these attributes in our everyday lives or is it a do as I say, don't do as I do attitude? The only way that we can teach our children these qualities, is to lead by example.
This topic has been a bug bear of mine for a very long time. Many of the youth in our society have the idea that it is okay to be disrespectful to others. They often comment on THEIR RIGHTS. They often say that it is their right to do this, or their right to have that. Whilst that may be so, with rights come RESPONSIBILITY.
I work in a job where it is not always perfect. I deal with people every day that through their disabilities behave in ways that are not appropriate. There is often a valid reason for their behaviour and sometimes not. Sometimes it is hard to respect them when they are treating me in a disrespectful way. It is hard to be kind and go the extra mile and to be the bigger person, but I do it because it is the right thing to do, the right way to behave.
Life and the world would be a much better place if we all endeavoured to live by the adage "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".
Courtesy and consideration are free and don't cost anything. By being more courteous and kind to others we all have the chance to make the world a better place.