Sunday, August 7, 2016

Mutual Respect

He was sitting in front of his television set that day. I remember it well. My brother and I had crossed Cedar Street to the  elegant brick apartments on the corner of 2nd and Cedar. I would often sit on our porch at 218 Cedar and study the bricks and mortar of that grand building. I knew that rich folks lived there and that their lifestyle was different than mine, or at least I imagine it so,

I cannot recall with any hint of accuracy the specific errand that required that my brother and I make the short trek across Cedar Street to our desired destiny, the resident apartment of the very distinguished, scholarly, and long time practitioner of the law, Mr. Harold J Hull, and his wife Elizabeth. The elder Hulls had been our next door neighbours until they moved to the apartment across the street.

I can still clearly recall that after we knocked and Mrs.Hull had bidden us enter, Mr Hull admonished us in a firm voice to not talk because ' the President of the United States is speaking."
He made it sound so special, so important, and so sacred, that we dared not utter a sound.

Now, when the president comes on, we make snide remarks. Newspapers print cartoonish images of the current leader and we call them by first names. Now, it isn't just because we the people are being disrespectful, no, half of it is because leaders disrespect the office,  the Constitution, and most importantly, they disrespect we, the people.

Can mutual respect ever become the norm again? Maybe, but I am not sure that we will ever again hear don't talk, " Because the President of the United States is speaking."

Thank you,Mr, Hull. You were an inspiration when I was growing up Wallace. 

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