In her Aug. 27 Regulars column, Charese Yanney denoted the abysmal state of affairs in our nation as depicted by recent riots and the destruction of historic artifacts. Ms. Yanney identified “lack of respect” as a major player in these current events.

I remember a time when respect had to be earned. One obtained an education, earned a living, supported one's family, paid one's debts, took pride in and reflected integrity in personal appearance and behavior, and sought to be recognized in the community as a hard worker and good neighbor. Voila. Such a person was routinely respected.

Somewhere along the way, respect became an entitlement. Today, respect is something owed to everyone, by virtue of being born. Virtually all of the things mentioned above that allowed one to earn respect are either to be set aside as unimportant or are provided by government-managed entitlement programs. Disregard for personal pride and integrity are the most damaging elements which, when lost, diminishes the respect we have for one another, for no government program can entitle one to have those character inclusions.

Many persons who have never tried to earn respect can be found at the head of riots claiming that anger and violence are warranted because they’ve been “disrespected." Imagine that. - Lon Zimmerman, Sergeant Bluff, Iowa

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