Thursday, December 8, 2011

Respect is earned, it's not an entitlement.

Actor, Alec Baldwin
What is it about air travel that brings out the worst or best in people?  By this time, those of you who regularly follow my blogs, know that it brings out the demon in me.  So with this said, I'm willing to cut Mr. Alec Baldwin some slack; however, very little.

On Tuesday of this week, Mr. Baldwin was asked to turn off his cell phone by an American Airline's employee as the plane was preparing for departure.  It appears that the actor was involved in a rather intense online game and believed he was singled out.  Insults flew as he slammed himself into the lavatory.  He eventually - and rightfully so - was removed from the plane.

I don't care what a person does for a living, the amount of a paycheck should not garner any more entitlements than the next person.  I take great offense on behalf of the people sitting on that plane; for the mothers with children trying to show by example how to behave in public, business men who were held up for meetings in the next city, or families trying to get home to their loved ones.  I'm also embarrassed for the steward or stewardess who, because it was their job, had to put up with his nonsense.  I feel badly for these people, not for Mr. Baldwin.  He acted like a spoiled, nasty toddler and you all know how I feel about screaming toddlers on planes.

Respect is not a given.  It is something to be earned and it can be very easily lost.  I've never met Alec Baldwin and personally, after this story, I never care to.  My esteem is given to people who treat others with kindness - who spend their time making contributions to their fellow man.  These people range from great personalities to the unsung neighborhood heroes who the work tirelessly for others. 

My Hospice Volunteer Coordinator is one of my heroes.  I don't know her outside of my volunteer duties, but when she calls me to discuss a patient, she's always upbeat, positive, and warm-hearted.  She genuinely loves what she does and appreciates the efforts of her volunteer staff throughout the community.  Sarah carries herself with a sense of gentle peace and mild acceptance.  Her employer is a non-profit group.  I'm certain it doesn't pay her much, definitely not in terms of what an actor makes, and yet I have more respect and admiration for her than I would the wealthiest or most powerful Hollywood elite.

Mr. Baldwin needed a special needs mother on Tuesday to settle him down and give him a severe consequence for his behaviors. 

Alec, you're grounded!  Your phone's gone for a year.  And, by the way, you owe the stewardess, the passengers, and all of the 1950's Catholic school gym teachers in America an apology letter.  That should keep you busy for a while and perhaps teach you a little humility along the way.

Online Story posted by MSN Entertainment/Wonderwall


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