I’m Mentioning:

The Middle East was ablaze today, although I’m not sure if we can call that news. The city of Beirut experienced some rioting on Sunday; according to washingtonpost.com the source of the outburst were a series of caricatures depicting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad, the publication of which was extremely offensive to the Muslim faith. As a result of the rioting the Danish Embassy located in Beirut was set ablaze and tension in the Middle East rose to a level, we’ll I’m not going to say that it hasn’t been there before. But I think you catch my drift.

The underlying theme I’m trying to get at is respect. Respect, not only for one another but for each others cultures, beliefs, and personal opinions is something that sadly seems to be becoming less and less important to people nowadays. The concept of what I care about has become a stable in our society. The bigger picture of what I want and what I care about is way more important to the average person than the idea of, “How is what I’m doing going to affect the majority of people?”

You’ve seen the signs posted around campus, if you read this paper (and it’s hard to say you don’t at this point) then you’ve read the articles about it. Skyline has adopted a designated smoking policy on campus. There are now specifically marked places on campus where smoking is allowed and, obviously, these are the places that smoking should be restricted to.

Does it happen?

If it did I probably wouldn’t be writing about it. The fact of the matter is that the people on this campus that choose to ignore the designated smoking area rule do not respect the rights of those who choose not to smoke, the same way that the Muslim faith was disrespected by the publications of their Prophet.

Now to be clear I am not trying to place the smoking policy on the same level as the insult suffered by the Muslim people, and in all seriousness religious disputes have always been of a much higher potency than something on the level of smoking. The point of the matter is that the concept is the same. Disrespect and blatant disregard of other people is a huge problem, not only on this planet, but on this campus.

I will admit to not being the most politically correct person in the world, I’ve said and done things that have offended people. I believe that racially and ethnically charged jokes can be among the most entertaining. But when it comes to respecting other cultures, other belief systems, and other people I believe we would all be able to make this campus a better place if we stopped thinking about our own needs for just a few minutes, and decided to consciously do something to make somebody else feel good about how Skyline College treated them.

Not that I like to sound like a Sunday school teacher, but it seems like sometimes people need to be talked to like their six just to understand what I’m saying. Until next time folks, I’m sorry if I offended anybody. I really didn’t mean to.