My wife and I recently had the privilege of going to the wedding of two friends in the wonderful city of New Orleans. We made a long weekend out of it and by chance, where able to catch the Saints football game in its entirety before heading to the airport to fly home. Squeezed into a bar on the corner of Chartres and Bienville in the French Quarter, me, my wife and fifteen other friends from the ceremony rooted for the home team.
The match was between the New Orleans Saints and the Carolina Panthers. The Saints surged to a quick lead but the Panthers continued to chip away at the score differential until they tied it up in the last quarter. But that tie did not last long—New Orleans pulled ahead by three in the final seconds with a 50+ yard field goal. It was a fun game to watch.
When we were at the airport we saw many Carolina fans decked out in Panther gear flying home. It was cool to see that kind of fan-base following their team on the road. Everyone we encountered seemed happy that they went to the game but rather subdued from the loss, bar one. And it is this lone individual that I unfortunately need to single out and talk about.
There were about ten of us sitting in a casual restaurant area near our gate, eating some food and reminiscing about the fun wedding weekend. There was a Green Bay versus Cowboys football game playing on a series of televisions in front of us. A waitress came by and asked us if it was ok to change the main TV to the Seahawks game that had just started. Apparently someone else in the room had asked for the change. When we gave a delightful green light by saying we were from Seattle, the gentleman sitting adjacent to us in a Cam Newton jersey felt the need to come at us with his mouth verbally blazing and in a very vulgar way.
The word "respect" comes from the Latin word respectus, which derives from the two smaller words re, meaning "back", and specere, meaning "look at". Collectively the two words mean "look back at" or "regard".
Respect has multiple definitions, one of which is giving due regard for the feelings, wishes, rights, or traditions of others. In other simpler words, it is being polite and kind.
As the young man was filling the room with opinionated noise, I could not help but think of two things. One, a quote credited to Abraham Lincoln:
Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
And two, that the young man was carelessly causing the room to not only judge him but the Carolina Panther team and their fans as a whole.
We need to remember that our actions, positive or negative, often affect more than just ourselves. As children of our parents, our manners and choices can be a reflection of our mom and dad. As a student, our behavior outside of school can be a reflection on our school itself. In the workplace, our dedication and integrity can be a reflection of our company. On a sports team, the conduct of a player can be a reflection of the coach or team the athlete is playing on. And if the person is a professional athlete, their conduct can have an even greater impact.
So too for the individual fan that wears the team's jersey...
As for wearing BILLY Footwear gear, know that when you wear our shoes and apparel, you are representing a brand that cares, is positive, and treats everyone and everything with dignity. We hope our customers will express similar compassion. A little bit of love goes a long way.
To quote the late Otis Redding from one of his most famous songs, "All I'm asking is for a little respect..."
(The picture above is of Aretha Franklin recording vocals. Franklin further popularized the song, "Respect", which was originally written and first performed by the late Otis Redding, who tragically died in a plane crash in 1967 at the age of 26.)