Why do I believe my book, A Nation Reclaims Respect, will improve your life? Because writing it changed mine!

Do you see the deterioration of respect in our world? Are you troubled by the bad behavior in our society?

A few years ago, I read an article in Time magazine, and this phrase caught my attention: “We live in a pissed off society.” Are you troubled by some news reports? Do you get discouraged?

The news reports police killings, division among leaders in Washington, suicides, and epidemic drug abuse. What are we doing? Where are we going? What is our future?

In my research, I led focus groups among those old enough to have young grandchildren. I asked them to pick a number that represents their level of optimism, with one being low and 10 being high. The average was between six and seven.

Then I asked them to pick a number representing their optimism for the future of their grandchildren. The numbers came in at three or four. Their historical view? The quality of life is declining.

Then I asked why they chose the numbers. Their responses were not about wealth or war. They said, “I’m worried they may get shot in grade school”; “I’m concerned they’ll die from a drug overdose”; “I wonder if they might die in a car accident caused by some maniac driving too fast.”

What is driving this depressed view of the future? You won’t hear about it on most newscasts or read about it in most news articles. Why? Reports cover results, not causes.

The book A Nation Reclaims Respect, focuses on “the issues behind the issues.” We are bombarded with symptoms. Yet, what are the causative issues? What can we learn from history?

Civilization is a cycle, turned by one person at a time. Some act uncivilized. Their behavior makes the news. That fuels outrage in some, yet encourages others. The cycle gains momentum when most of our energy goes toward the symptoms. Few are asking about the value of respect.

Think about cultural influence. Culture drives behavior. Cultural elements are subconscious. Yet, they drive behavior! They include five ingredients: 1) values; 2) beliefs; 3) attitudes; 4) priorities; and 5) worldviews. I addressed these basic elements in a previous book, Who Broke My Church? (2017).

The cycle of civilization slides from respect to uncivilized behavior. When respect dwindles, a nation drifts. Kindness, respect for laws, a passion to face challenges, even respect for life all slowly deteriorate—not with everyone, but for some who influence others and discourage the rest.

My journey in the process of writing A Nation Reclaims Respect changed my life—it moved my “respect meter.” Here is one example: I used to grumble all the way through security at the airport. While writing A Nation Reclaims Respect, I thought I would try telling every security officer I encounter, “Thanks for keeping us safe.” My attitude got better.

Respect is not about gimmicks or programs. It’s an approach that fosters kindness in a world that desperately needs it. It’s incremental: in me, for me, in you, in others. Respect is contagious!

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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