In all of history from pre-historic times through the ancients to present day human beings have collected themselves into groups, families, tribes, communities and so on to form durable organizations for the purpose of accomplishing mutual goals.
A major factor underlying these achievements is the freedom and ability of human beings to establish and develop social relationships to serve themselves and others. Equally noticeable is the historical fact that human work in the physical and life sciences has progressed more quickly and abundantly than in the social sciences. Human beings, while able to organize for the accomplishments of mutual goals, have not advanced proportionately in the social sciences to mutually respect one another.
The biblical text used predominantly in Western civilization and recognized throughout the entire world vividly portrays a central ill of humanity. In Genesis 2:23 where the woman is accompanied by God to Adam who was “in a deep sleep” (Gen.2:21) and could not have known about his rib removal until after awakening before or during the introduction to the woman says “You are bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh”.
Perhaps “Hello, how are you?” would have been mutually preferred as the collective greeting-question simultaneously recognizes another human being, shows empathy and compassion, and willingly welcomes a returned reply for an exchange of histories, cultures and experiences.
The very first human to human contact as illustrated in the biblical narrative shows that one human being had a disregard for the creation, history, culture, and experience of another human being. The self-realization, spiritual separation and cultural condemnation in the words of one human being should never go unchallenged by the self-indulgence, silence and acceptance of another human being. Especially when both human beings as in this narrative are human creations of and from the same God.
Human behavior has since been scientifically proven to be unpredictable. However, scientific evidence has also proven that human infants are drawn to the human face. Throughout history beginning within the social relationships of the human family children have been taught to say Hello, Hi, Good Morning and the like to recognize and greet another human being. To purposely fail to recognize and greet another human being in human societies today is unacceptably rude and disrespectful. And when considered biblically, this failure to recognize could have been the first human sin.
The United States of America came into existence from words. The sole intent of the Founding Fathers was setting up a system of fundamental laws and principles describing the functions and limits of the federal government. There was no desire to simultaneously construct that which would negate the very purpose from which came a revolution and the Declaration of Independence (1776), the Articles of Confederation (1781), the United States Constitution (1787) and the Federalist Papers
After the victorious revolt against Great Britain the thirteen colonies would conclude with these words in the Declaration of Independence, “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
With the zeal of independence, the Articles of Confederation declared that “the said states severally enter into a firm league of friendship for their common defense, the security of their liberties and their mutual and general welfare.”
Speaking of the interior structure of the federal government (The Congress, President, Supreme Court) and the checks and balances thereof, the Federalist Paper No. 51 would say that “its several constituent parts may by their mutual relations, be the means of keeping each other in their proper places.”
From the very start of the United States of America it seems that the several and individual states collected themselves into a firm league of friendship with a mutual pledge in consideration of their mutual welfare for their mutual relations to form “We the people.”
It is disturbingly disappointing to be aware of the rapid decline of basic human values in our institutions and even more horrific to think about the number of senseless mass killings in America the past twenty years. As U.S. citizens most of us have temporarily forgotten that every state constitution has, in its preamble, a reverence to a Supreme Being. There still remains, by natural occurrence or divine intervention, constitutional evidence of human beings calling upon an authority greater than themselves.
Domiciled in the rear of the second Guiding Principle of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) where I now work as the Campus Greeter is the firm pronouncement from the founding forebears that “The University vigorously protects freedom of inquiry and expression and categorically expects civility and mutual respect to be practiced in all deliberations”.
Civility was positioned grammatically first by the Dean’s Council in 1996 as a result of widespread usage to get people to act with courtesy and politeness. However because of its compound traits and dual characteristics, it is “mutual respect” that establishes the foundation and secures the capacity for human beings to be civil.
Mutual respect is a genuine feeling emitted freely with compassion and interest from the heart of one person who shows respect and acceptance of the same by another person who returns the show of respect. When mutual respect is experienced, disingenuous perceptions, deep-seated needs and value systems are surrendered to what is right and good.
To be “right” in human history is traditionally understood to be in “good” relations with the Lord Almighty. When in this relationship, righteousness and goodness are supreme because “There is no iniquity with the Lord our God, or respect of persons, nor taking of gifts (II Chronicles 19:7). I know that mutual respect is a biblical derivative of “Love thy neighbor as thyself”
In my well-publicized career as “gatekeeper” at the United States Air Force Academy (1982-86) and at FGCU (2010-Present) it can be realistically estimated that I have joyfully greeted, welcomed and directly communicated with hundreds of thousands of people, and waving and saluting tens of millions more. Herein lies the impetus of my appeal for all to practice mutual respect. Mutual respect gives its participants the unique opportunity to feel “good” about themselves and others for having done the “right” thing and this makes for a better world in which to live.
I have formed the truest opinion I can in support of this appeal, therefore I ask you: Would you be so kind to entertain the possibility to practice mutual respect in all your deliberations?