While writing the book A Nation Reclaims Respect, I discovered: Respect is contagious. It is caught more than taught.

My hope is that this book will challenge your values—what you think is important—and help you define your priorities in a way that benefits you and everyone you encounter.

My desire is that this book will strengthen your beliefs. If you don’t believe in God, it will give you a new perspective on Jesus, who is the most powerful influencer in history. His wisdom has incredible impact on civilization and hope for our world’s greatest struggles.

My prayer is that this book will impact your attitudes. If you are discouraged by some outrageous behavior in our world, you will find hope. You will see solutions for the challenges undermining our world.

My vision is that this book will help you identify new priorities of behavior, encouraging you to become more polite, even among those who challenge you. It will give you strategies for facing conflict. You will discover courage to rise above the challenges of life.

A Nation Reclaims Respect will change your worldview. It’s easy to become discouraged by bad behavior in our world. Newscasts are about 95% bad news. Sometimes they present a short “positive” story at the end. The subtle message is this: 95% of life is horrible—a screwed up mess of pain, suffering, and disrespect. This is a misrepresentation of reality! Most people don’t steal, murder, commit suicide, kill police, or cook meth.

What if news outlets reported 50% good news stories? Would that change your worldview? If it did, would that change your outlook?

Restoring respect changes behavior. You become infected with a unique lifestyle found only in human beings. It is revolutionary: Our world is focused on what you do. Yet, we are not simply human doings. We are human beings.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Dogs are people, too.” No, they aren’t! They are animals. Honestly, I grew up with dogs and love them—but not the way I love my wife. Human beings are not driven by instincts. We are rational beings.

Humans have the capacity to love, respect, be polite, and treat others as valuable. The more we practice those distinctly human traits, the more human we are. That impacts society. Life is so much better.

As human beings, we have the capacity to learn, grow, and improve our respectful behavior. We can model respect and teach others. We can also become disrespectful—a dangerous departure from our best selves.

When the trend toward disrespect occurs over time, it subtly impacts others. It becomes contagious. Like a virus, disrespect can kill people as well. It can lead to murders, drug overdoses, shootings, abortions, high-speed auto accidents. Disrespect can be a silent, subtle killer through stress and mental illness.

However, respect is also contagious, especially during discouraging times. Respect is caught. In fact, it’s caught more than taught. As you grow in respect, you become a carrier of polite behavior. You are contagious. You don’t have to become someone different. Just be your best you. You change the future!

Kent R. Hunter and Tracee J. Swank are church consultants and authors of A Nation Reclaims Respect, available on Amazon.com and ChurchDoctor.org.

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