The nation cannot forget the compelling headline of the Trinidad Guardian, July 21 – ‘The Breaking Point.’ This was followed by Archbishop Gordon’s July 28 column entitled ‘A culture of disrespect’.
Respect is the lowest common denominator of social interaction, not love. People can hate each other but still come around the mediation table, provided they follow the principle of respect for the other as laid down by the mediation process. Only by abiding in respect are people able to have, as His Grace mentioned, “the difficult conversations”.
Disrespect operates at several levels: we see it in the way parents relate to children and children to parents; how MPs regard their constituents and they their MPs; how employers treat employees and they their employers; in the road rage and bad customer service; in the airport as we wait in vain for information on a departing flight or the awful treatment people say they receive at parish offices.