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Begin respectful behaviour in our own homes

Dear Sir,

Oh, Bermuda. Has our uniquely beloved Island sunk so low that those we are supposed to be entitled to respect and look up to, whom we ourselves have, perhaps, voted into power to represent our own personal interests, can publicly hurl vile, disgusting, sexually repugnant slurs and highly abusive insults at a well-known, well-respected and extremely popular member of our community — and legally get away with it?

Do these persons not have their own mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters or other female relatives whom they themselves love, honour and respect?

If so, how would they feel if some lowlife individual were to have behaved in such an equally disgraceful, abusive and disgusting manner towards one of their female relatives?

Misogyny in any form is always loathsome, and to have had it so blatantly and publicly displayed recently by those we are supposed to be able to admire and look up to is an eye-opener indeed.

How have the mighty fallen. How sick a society we have become by apparently accepting such abhorrent behaviour as “the norm”. A very sad day indeed.

However, by their choice of so disrespecting one of our own in so foul a way, any right-thinking female — and male — must, in turn, at the very least feel truly disappointed, if not outraged and disgusted, to have been let down so badly by public servants in high office whose salaries “we the people” all pay.

These people work for us and, as our employees, they represent us and our best interests ... or at least they are supposed to.

That is what we pay them for. Surely we must all ask ourselves, would this same type of totally outrageous, anti-female behaviour be tolerated “on the job” in any other type of work situation? Food for thought indeed.

Not so very many years ago, former Premier Paula Cox enclosed a most unusual leaflet within the pages of The Royal Gazette.

At the time it so impressed me that I have, to this day, kept it on my fridge. It still catches my eye, and still continues to impress me. These are the thoughts which it expresses, every one of them ennobling and uplifting:

• “Respect must always be earned. Respectful behaviour, however, is your human right.

“All human beings ... should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” (1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 1)

• “Be kind and compassionate to one another.” (Holy Bible)

• “You cannot fix what you will not face.” (James Baldwin)

• “Change yourself, and fortune will change.” (Portuguese proverb)

• “We must be the change we wish to see.” (Gandhi)

• Let us begin respectful behaviour in our own homes, take it on to our roads, into our schools, places of work and leisure pursuits. Let it be a part of us.”

Thank you, Paula. Alas, it seems that some of those who should know, and do, very much better were not listening.


Noble thoughts: Former Premier Paula Cox, above, once passed on a leaflet of uplifting sentiments, a reader says, focusing on respectful behaviour, compassion and brotherhood (File photograph)

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Published August 19, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated August 19, 2015 at 12:42 am)

Begin respectful behaviour in our own homes

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