Show respect for others even when you don’t agree with them

Thomas Riste
88th Logistics Readiness Squadron Director
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Thomas Riste 88th Logistics Readiness Squadron Director

Respect is defined one way as the due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights or traditions of others. Currently it seems our country is having an issue with respect for others. The violence we are witnessing happening throughout our country is being caused by the lack of respect for one another.

One of the best ways to show respect for someone is to truly listen to another’s point of view. Obviously, we’ll not always agree with one another on every topic (and you should never adopt a point of view with which you do not agree), but we should allow each other to have and express our own views – regardless of whether we agree with them or not.

As Gen. Larry Spencer, former Air Force vice chief of staff, stated, “The Air Force didn’t become the best by accident. Dedicated, committed Airmen who live by our core values each and every day made it that way. You and I now have a sacred responsibility to not only keep us the best but to make the AF even greater. That’s a big responsibility, but it starts by treating everyone with dignity and respect and remembering that every Airman counts. Airmen don’t care about their fellow Airman’s race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation. We focus on character, commitment, professional competence and leadership.”

Gen, Mark Welsh III, former chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, said: “Everybody in our Air Force should feel respected; they should feel critically important to what we do, because they are. They should feel included in your organization and the mission. And we should all recognize that diversity is very clearly a strength of this Air Force and will take us to places that we could not have gotten to without it.”

We as Airmen must continue to uphold the Air Force core values. I believe, and I hope that you feel, that for the most part we in the Air Force do show and receive respect. Understand we are a microcosm of our society and the influences aren’t stopped by a fence or a gate, but we joined for a reason and we need to make the quotes from previous leaders ring true for our United States Air Force. We must be examples to others on how to accept that we all do not believe or think the same way but yet are able to be considerate of each other despite our differences.