Augustine Tagaste

Author of Poetry and Prose

Mutual Respect


I was in a well-known coffee shop the other day, and as I observed customers interacting with the staff it became apparent that the latter were being absolutely dehumanized. The modern American capacity for self-serving “douchebag” behavior was on full display and focused on those tasked with providing the service.


Some people seem to forget that service does not equal servitude, and that slavery was abolished in this country.


What struck me most were the demands for respect by the customers without any hint of payment in kind towards the baristas. Respect should be automatically mutual and equal; it should be easily offered and quickly returned upon receipt. If, as a society, we are to uphold the values of human dignity and equality then we should start by respecting each other regardless of circumstances or differences.


To all my readers out there; I only ask that you be courteous, polite and respectful to every person you encounter regardless of the social situation. Every human being is worthy of respect unless they prove that respect to be ill-placed. Even then, do not lower yourself but rather deal with it in a graceful manner.


Respect is not a privilege or a right; it is a bond of love that exists naturally between all humankind.


At the end of the day, is it not better that we treat others as we wish to be treated?


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