By Adrianne Finley Odell
American recently paid RESPECTS to two incredible human beings whose funerals were on back-to-back days. While Aretha Franklin and John McCain come from very different backgrounds and experiences, they both stood for some of the same values. Franklin was known as The Queen- and the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. McCain was known as the Maverick- and a war hero. They were individuals who fought for the oppressed and against injustice. Franklin’s music and leadership united individuals during the Civil Rights Movement. McCain’s commitment to the ideals of America united individuals across party lines to fight for what’s right. Franklin died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76. McCain lost his life to brain cancer at the age of 81.
What can we teach our young people through the lives of these two individuals? I believe one word uniquely and intensely defines them, and in the case of Franklin, we groove to the music she created to emphasize the importance of this value-- RESPECT.
It is one of the of the core values of Roycemore School, and one that is deeply meaningful to me. I believe that respect is a critical value we must emphasize with our children. We can have deep disagreements, different world views, and different life experiences, but through respect, we can honor and appreciate those differences and learn so very much from each other. When we model respect, we also honor one of the seven habits of highly effective people that we draw upon at Roycemore-- Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Respect lifts others up, while also lifting ourselves. And at the deepest core of respect, is love-- something that millions of people around the world were feeling as they watched or read about the funerals of these two American legends. So let’s embrace what they taught us, let’s embrace love-- and respect.