This commentary refers to the United States in North America.

The missing “r” stands for respect which is so badly missing in our community. Respect for our elders, our medical care providers, our neighbors, teachers, volunteers, the property of others and our public lands. When you dump your trash as part of “donations” to nonprofits you are disrespecting the volunteers who work there. When you dump your trash along the road or in the National Forest or BLM land you are disrespecting everyone else who uses those lands including those who lease them to graze their livestock. When you find it too inconvenient to wear a mask when in a store you are disrespecting and endangering all those you come in contact with. Do you know your status as a potential carrier of the current virus? Can you guarantee that you will not give it to all the others who are forced to be in your presence by the simple need for buying a loaf of bread or carton of milk?

Another possibility is that the missing “r” could stand for responsibility. Most people are naturally inclined to be members of a community. That might be any group from humanity as a whole to your neighborhood or church group. I was taught that my responsibility as a moral, normally intelligent human being extended to the well being of the natural environment as well as other people.

Note that there are two s’s in “states.” It seems that they have come to stand for selfish and soulless. Maybe we could lose them.

Loretta Molitor

Cedaredge

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