The worst forum that I see this most often in is on Facebook. You can act how you want in your own personal Facebook page, but some people will comment on posts and pictures and be completely inappropriate and say things that particular person's friends and family probably shouldn't see. I'm sure I've been guilty of this myself in my own ignorant bliss. However I'm going to be more aware of this myself in my comments on friends pages. Sometimes comments that you may find funny to make just shouldn't be made in a forum for the masses to see, perhaps the person you are going to make the comment to will find it humorous as well, but stop and think if this is a comment that should be made privately between just the two of you. That's when something that is funny can quickly become disrespectful is when you blast it for all of their people to see and something they would have been amused by is now a nuisance. In a place like Facebook where a lot of people have their mom, dad, husband, wife, children, pastors, etc though they may have a colorful sense of humor they may not be comfortable with everyone seeing your super colorful sense of humor and personality spewing out all over their page.
One thing I hate to see is when someone starts saying a person is crazy and they need to take their meds or they are bipolar or schizo or whatever. I've done it from time to time and felt like such an ass afterwards because I know better. It's a pretty disrespectful and hurtful statement to be said especially when it's being broadcasted for their friends and family to see. As well as a very ignorant statement to make because there are so many people who truly do silently suffer from mental illness and you never know when you may say it to a person who does. I worked at the National Alliance for Mental Illness for 5 years, and sometimes I just hate to see someone treat mental illness like it's a joke, it's truly not. Another one I've become more aware of recently is making fun of retardation. So many people suffer from this and I'd hate to think that me being ignorant and making jokes about it hurts someone who either suffers from it or has a loved one who does. It's so disrespectful to go there, and I hope that more education is put there there to the public to make them aware as well.
Other forms of disrespect that I find intolerable is sexism and racism. And I don't mean just sexism towards women I mean towards men too. I love men, and yeah the occasional man joke may be funny, but if you've never sat in a circle of true man hating women that are bashing men then you have not missed anything. Though they are typically married to men, still the hate exists. I sometimes start defending men and then I am shunned. I need to have a little sign to pull out of my purse and put on my shirt when I get in those situations that says "Beware I Am a Friend to the Penis Wielding Ones". Needless to say men who are sexist against women piss me off to no end.
As for racism I find it gross when I meet someone and just because we have the same color skin they assume I share their beliefs and start talking about their disdain for other races within the first few minutes of meeting. It's so weird to me! And I can see why the cycle or racism stays in it's loop, generation teaching it to generation. I love everyone. The most uncomfortable situations to me is when a close friend who we've never even discussed our feelings on the races starts telling me a racist joke. It's like dammit why did you have to go there. I think we all need to have respect for each other as humans no matter what kind of genitalia we may have or what color our skin may be.
A really bad form of disrespect that is very evident in our society right now is bullying by kids at school. It breaks my heart every time I see a story about a young person who committed suicide because they were bullied. I feel like parents need to teach their kids to love people for who they are, and that it's never acceptable to make fun of other people just because they are different or it's fun or the rest of the kids are doing it. Hell step it up and teach them to defend the kids who are being picked on! Even if it means their friends will not like them they should know it would feel better to protect someone than to be mean to them. And in the same hand I think that there needs to be a more proactive stance taken in teaching kids that none of the stupid bullshit that happens when you are young is gonna matter when you are grown. I pretty much love Pink's song "Fuckin Perfect". What a wonderful message!
There's a whole realm of hatred and disrespect that causes people to not love themselves. Self esteem is hard to find when you are constantly being pushed around for being different. Whether it's because of your skin tone, the color of your hair, the size of your breasts, your weight, being a loner, having a quirky personality, cross dressing, being in an interracial relationship, being gay, lesbian, or bi, or having a different accent or a lisp... there's so many things that people find to make fun of about people and being completely disrespectful of their feelings. How does someone being overweight or being flat chested or having lover of the same sex or marrying someone outside of their own race affect you personally as a person? It doesn't. So why make that person feel bad about themselves for being them. You don't have to like everyone or be friends with everyone, but you shouldn't be mean to them. Challenge yourself to find the positive qualities in the people who make you uncomfortable for superficial reason's such as these. Learn how to build them up as a person instead of tear them down. You will feel better about yourself and so will they.
I think perhaps respect is something we can all work on! It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. And then no, it's not funny. I think we should all just try to be respectful, even if we don't think the person deserves it. I know it's hard but the least we can do is try! Have some integrity and be respectful to others.
So my challenge and homework for all of us... be more aware of yourself, of your words and your actions. Ignorance is not an excuse, train yourself to pay attention to what you are doing. And make apologies when appropriate. Lets try to make this world a happier place to live in.
Much Love and Respect for you all!