This is obviously a post that I have deep feelings about. I have thought about what I wanted to say for a long time. I hope you can take something good away from it.
One of the things I do in my spare time is teach Hunter Education classes. The class covers a lot more than hunting such as gun handling, wildlife management, safety, survival, first aid, rules/regulations, and those three words I posted at the top – Responsibility, Respect, and Ethics. Guns on television and video games have influenced our lives dramatically. It has taught us a lot of bad habits when using this type of tool. Yes, guns are tools, but I digress so let me get to the three words……
Responsibility: noun, responsible,
We all have responsibilities. Some examples are taking out the trash, doing homework, feeding animals, going to work, paying bills, and raising kids. Generally, if we ignore a responsibility that we have someone will notice (imagine not taking out the trash or not showing up at work for a few weeks). I have noticed that some people will blame others for the things they were responsible for. Have you ever been given a project to do and forgot to do it? What excuses did you use? “I didn’t have the time.” “No one gave me the information.” “The dog ate it.” or “You gave me too many things to do.” Wouldn’t it have been better if you admitted you forgot to do it? You have to make a conscience decision to do the things you should do. You need to be responsible for your actions.
Respect: noun, a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
There are people in our daily lives that deserve respect. Some examples are parents, teachers, policemen, fire fighters, military, and peers. If you really think about it, everyone and everything deserves respect. It’s so much easier to point out examples of disrespect – name calling, bullying, starting/spreading rumors, destroying/vandalizing property, leaving trash everywhere, or committing crimes.
The last year has been full of disrespect in the media and on social media with the elections. I have friends who did not like the outcome of the election and have said so. That is fine. That is their right to free speech. I understand that and I get it. We are still friends. What I don’t like is the continued name calling, obscene gestures, rumors, lies, and destruction that is going on now that the president has been elected. A lot of this is being fueled by the media. The media publishes stories on the front page to provoke emotions. Mostly it’s something will shock, anger, or cause fear. These grab your attention and you totally miss any of the good things that they publish such as a group of kids shoveled snow at the Senior Citizen Center.
Earlier this year there was a cat that someone just dropped off out in the country near where I live. I have a feeling it was just thrown from a moving vehicle. It was obviously dragging its back legs up to my house. I took it to my vet and found out it had a broken pelvis, broken leg, signs of previous fractures, and was malnourished. Obviously the previous owners had no respect for this animal.
I always take an extra bag with me when I go hiking or rafting just to pick up trash that other people leave behind. Almost anywhere you drive, you will find road signs shot full of holes. It’s scary to see what’s beyond the signs – roads, cars, houses, buildings, etc. Some people have no respect for the land or property.
There’s a saying that if you have a bad experience at a business, you will tell ten people. But if you have a good experience, you might tell one.
Ethics: noun, moral principles that govern a person’s behavior or the conducting of an activity.
Ethics is a difficult concept for many people to understand because it isn’t the same for everyone. Sometimes it is written rules, but, most often it is unwritten ideals. It is the values you have that make you act the way you do even when no one is watching. Driving is where ethics get bent a lot…… as an example….. if the speed limit is 65 mph through the Nevada desert and you can see no one in front or behind you for miles, how fast do you go? 80? 90? or 65? Or you’re driving out in the country at 3:00 am and you come to an intersection with a stop sign. There’s no lights in any direction. What do you do? Roll on through or stop? Those are examples of written rules. But how about unwritten rules….. Here’s a situation. You are at a store and buy an item that costs $5.00. You hand the cashier a $20 bill. She hands you back two $10 bills in change. What do you do? Tell the cashier she gave you too much? What would you do if she gave you back two $5 bills? Let her know she didn’t give you enough? Some people would have no problem keeping the extra even though it is wrong but will be very vocal if they were shorted.
I hope you will think a little bit about these three words. Feel free to share your experiences or examples. We really do need to examine our own ethics and lead by our example. We need to teach our children respect and responsibility.
To kind of get back to where I started this missive, a Hunter Education class has value for everyone. You may think that you or your family doesn’t hunt so a class isn’t necessary. Even if you don’t have guns in the house, that doesn’t mean you (or your kids) will never go someplace where there is someone who hunts, shoots, or has guns. Here’s a little secret. You can’t actually learn to hunt in a classroom. What you do learn is how to safely handle a gun and be a good steward for the outdoors and the animals. You learn responsibility, respect and ethics. You learn wildlife management and habitat. You learn survival and first aid skills. You learn things you can use on a daily basis. Here’s a link for class information.
Thanks for reading…….