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Your Views: A return to respect, like in the old days, is within our grasp
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At 28 years old, use of the term “the old days” might imply to some that I’m referring to the early 2000s or the 1990s. I suppose they would be permitted to make that assumption according to my age.

I’m here to say age has no relevance in this discussion. Using the term doesn’t mean I claim to have experienced “the old days,” but I have. Through the teachings of family, learning of local and national history and of course, watching “The Andy Griffith Show.”

In the “old days,” people were different. Respect was important. It wasn’t earned, it was automatic. When you didn’t particularly care for a person, you still treated them with respect. Just because a person had a different opinion, didn’t give you the right to disrespect them.

That has changed. Nowadays people hide behind online alter egos, chomping at the bit to slander someone they disagree with politically, religiously or socially. The same can be said about our political figures. We are allowing them to teach our children that pointing out another’s faults is the only way to prove you are the best person for the job.

In the old days, being a Christian wasn’t viewed in a derogatory light. After so many bad examples of Christianity, I honestly don’t blame folks. Thanks to the Westboro folks, evangelists predicting the end of the world and other fine examples of extremist behavior, we all get lumped together. I suppose there are extremists in every religion.

Nowadays, Christians are labeled as ignorant hate-mongers just because they believe a sin is a sin. We are all sinners, and no sin is greater than the other. The Bible makes it clear that Jesus was a friend of sinners, he didn’t come to condemn, but to set free. It is not our place to condemn, either. We are called to love regardless of offense.

In the old days, it was not the government’s responsibility to take care of your family; it was yours. Today entitlement has run rampant, work ethic withered to laziness. When people need help, we should help them; it is our duty. Unfortunately, abuse of legitimate programs and nonprofits has led to the departure of the financial backing they need.

Helping people in the interim of a hardship is responsible and good, enabling them to continue being idle, is not.

The old days are gone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t return to a mentality that lends itself to a simpler time. When right was right, the truth was the truth (even when it hurt) and respect was essential.

Supper time was at 6, kids did chores for free and “social networking” took place in the fellowship hall around a plate of fried chicken. I am trying to raise my kids in a way that is reminiscent of Mayberry.

The “old days” is not a place in time, but a style of life. If you so choose, you can relive the old days nowadays.

Clint Hamlin

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