Respect

So a little over a year ago I flew back to Washington DC for an awards ceremony for my cousin.  I was excited as it was my first time going back to see our nation’s Capital.  I sat next to a very nice lady who happened to have a dog on her lap.  The dog was quiet and was more interesting than an issue.  I had Ronald Reagan’s Autobiography on my iPod to keep me occupied.  So for most of the flight I listened to Ronald Reagan tell me about his life in broadcasting and politics.   About a half an hour before we landed, I put my headphones down and began to chat with my row mate and the lap dog.  (Forgive me as I cannot remember her or the dog’s name.)    She told me she lived in Virginia and worked at the Pentagon.  Her dog was companion dog to help with PTSD she dealt with.  She then introduced me to her husband who was sitting a few rows over.   He worked on Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base.  I was impressed.  I told her I had seen Ronald Reagan’s plane at his Library in Simi Valley, California with my good friend Kelly a year before,  but had never seen the 747 version that was originally George W Bush’s.  She lit up and smiled and said, “My husband and I have a lot of respect for President Bush.”  I asked if she also had respect for our current President.  She declined to answer.  I smiled and told her I completely agree.  She then shared with me a story about Christmas time while George W Bush was in office.  She said, “People don’t realize it, but it takes a lot of people to operate Air Force One.  Not only support staff for the President and Secret Service, but also the people who operate and work on the plane itself.”  She then looked at me and said, “Did you know President Bush never flew anywhere during Christmas?”  I said, “No, I was not aware.”  She said, “Because he wanted to make sure all of the people who work for him could spend Christmas with their families.  He always made his own plans for after the Holidays.”  Respect is a wonderful thing.  Many people believe respect comes from reaching a level of success.  Either in employment or wealth or some other serendipitous form.  But after hearing this story, I realized respect has nothing to do with any of those things.  It is earned and given by how we value others in relation to ourselves.   I think we all need to give a little more respect in our lives.  Maybe we would find we get even more in return.  My name is Brian Heinrich and I am running for the First Congressional District of Oregon and I appreciate your support.

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