Respect And Disrespect!

An Electronic Mental Health Newsletter from Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D., P.A. & Associates
Volume 12, Number 10

It seems like this year is passing quickly. We are at the end of October and already anticipating the holiday season. For the most part, the hurricane debris has been cleared away and it almost looks like the hurricane never happened. The stores are stocked, the gas stations have no lines, and most homes have been repaired. We remain grateful that the damage was not worse. One observation clearly stands out: that when disaster happens, people rally around to support and help each other. It is a shame that it takes a disaster but it is a clear indication of the human spirit. People do care about each other and are willing to help those in need.

Our October E-Letter is about Respect and Disrespect. Dr. Kimmel starts a new blog and our email of the month is about Interesting Explanations (If Accurate or Not). We hope you find the enclosed information helpful and interesting. We also thank you for reading our E-Letters and for the numerous positive and compassionate comments we have received.

Practice News

Dr. Daum. We are very pleased to announce that Akiva Daum, MD has joined our practice. Dr. Daum is a multiple Board Certified Psychiatrist who will be seeing patients eighteen years and older for a limited number of hours a week. He specializes in Addiction Psychiatry and will also see patients who are in need of general psychiatric care. His special interests include treating patients with co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders as well as chronic pain and addiction disorders. He has taught and supervised other psychiatrists, medical students, residents, and fellows. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Daum, call our office at 954 755-2885.

Testings. Our practice does psychological and psychoeducational assessments to help answer questions about school placement, test accommodations including the PSAT, SAT, GRE, etc., gifted class placement, ADHD, and psychological diagnosis. Information regarding the tests can be found on our website. If you have more specific questions, please contact Dr. Kimmel or Paul Dolnick.

Support groups. We currently have two ongoing weekly therapy groups that have been quite successful and have been running for well over two years. A men’s support group and a women’s support group are run by Dr. Jim Kaikobad and meets for one and one-half hours. This confidential group is educational and supportive and is limited to 8 people.
Benefits of these groups include significant cost reduction, time effectiveness, and the support and understanding of other members experiencing similar issues. If you or a family member would like to participate in either of these groups, please contact Jillian in our office at 954 755-2885.

Downloads of handouts from our previous E-Letters can be found on our website, We invite you to read and download them if desired.


The concept of respect is really twofold; how we relate to ourselves and how we relate to others. In fact, the question becomes whether we can respect others if we do not respect ourselves. Respect refers to the regard and admiration we have for ourselves and others. It is a measure of self-esteem and an appreciation of our own values. It is in a sense a code by which we live by. If we allow ourselves to be taken advantage of, or go along with the crowd, or not speak up when we should, then we are disrespecting ourselves. If we do what we know is wrong, then we are disrespecting ourselves. If we engage in certain behaviors that hurt ourselves, then we disrespect ourselves. Perhaps, underlying all of this is whether we really care about ourselves.

The same holds true for others. If we are selfish and do not share with others, we disrespect them. If we are unconcerned about the welfare of others, we disrespect them. If being right and we are only concerned in what we want without considering the consequences of our actions, then we disrespect others. If we use others to get ahead, then we are disrespecting them. If we are entitled, we disrespect others.

How can society function when one is only concerned about their self-interests? Perhaps that is why we are seeing an erosion of our society’s values. For a society to flourish, there needs to be a recognized code of conduct where people treat others with goodwill and expect to be treated likewise. Values need to be honored, institutions respected and changed gradually by agreement, conflicts resolved through discussion and compromise, and respect for each other is paramount.

Respect for others involves understanding and acknowledging the feelings and ideas of others even though you may not agree. It involves the listening to others and liking them because of their qualities and their self-respect. It involves being courteous and using appropriate language that includes “please”, “thank you”, and “you’re welcome”. It involves not taking advantage of them and treating them as being important. In fact, research has shown that the two most important factors in successful relationships are mutual trust and respect. By respecting others, you take them seriously and give them worth and value.

Respect is not directly taught. It is learned by watching others and by listening to the language people use to communicate with others. When people use positive words, good feelings are generated and respect tends to be heightened rather than diminished when negative or curse words are used. Disrespect is learned by watching society reward others who slowly erode language, institutions, people, and other social values

To be respectful is simple. Just practice the Golden Rule. Treat others in the way that you would like to be treated. In addition, stick to your own values despite their being eroded by others. Respect yourself by using good manners, positive words, and compromise. Acknowledge the opinions and beliefs of others even though you may not agree with them. Be assertive and speak with confidence, strength, and pride in yourself.

We offer the following information on Respect and Disrespect!

Without feelings of respect, what is there to distinguish men from beasts?— Confucius


  • Respect is a positive feeling of esteem for a person or thing as well as an appreciation for the qualities of the one respected
  • Having respect for another means that we hold them in high regard; we value who they are and what they do and may even want to act like them
  • It means that we appreciate their uniqueness and allow them to make their own decisions even if we disagree
  • There can be no respect for others without having self-respect
  • Successful relationships are built upon mutual trust and respect
  • Respect is the also foundation for a society to grow and flourish
  • When there is respect between people, there is less conflict and more cooperation
  • A society survives upon respect for itself and others even if it doesn’t agree with them; it must promote caring, charitable behaviors, and treat people with goodwill not abuse
  • People are not directly taught to respect; they learn it through watching others and how people use language to communicate with others
  • By using positive words rather than negative words, a respectful society can be built
  • Conversely, people learn disrespect by watching society reward others who slowly erode language, institutions, people, and other social values
  • Studies have shown that people respect others differently based on how they look, talk, act, dress, their jobs, their wealth, and whether they have tattoos and piercings
  • When we give respect, people feel valued, important, and secure
  • When we give respect, we get back respect from others
  • Disrespect is fostered through jealousy, hatred, derogation, and resentment
  • When we disrespect ourselves, often by imitating what society’s leaders or role models say and do, we are really throwing away our own identities and self-esteem
  • To gain respect, live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and treat others as you would like to be treated
  • How you treat yourself is important; If you show self-respect, others will treat you with respect
  • If you treat yourself poorly by not caring how you act, look, or relate to others, people will treat you in the same way
  • To show self-respect, hold yourself to high standards, accept responsibility for your actions, live by a code of ethics, and treat others with dignity

  • Maintain your own values and do not become a follower just to fit in with others
  • Be courteous, use good manners, use positive words, and be able to compromise to show respect to others
  • Be assertive and speak with confidence, strength, and pride in yourself
  • Associate with those who respect you and have your best interests in mind
  • Stand up to others who treat you disrespectfully
  • Seek professional help if you consistently feel that you are disrespected or victimized

Call us at 954 755-2885 or email us at

Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates
5551 N University Drive, Suite 202
Coral Springs FL 33067
Copyright © 2017 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D.

Dr. K’s Blog

October 21, 2017
Last night I watched the movie, “Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace, Music, and Love”, and was visibly moved by how much our society has changed in the almost 50 years since this festival occurred. As I remembered and confirmed in the movie, the Woodstock community was peaceful and loving. Numerous comments were made about how nice the kids were, how courteous they were to each other, and how helpful they were to each other. This happened despite the quantity of drugs, the rain, the lack of food, the lack of accommodations, and the difficulties in transportation. Townspeople went out of their way to comment on how courteous the kids were saying “thank you” and “please” and asking permission. They greeted each other warmly and were well behaved not wanting to trespass on the property of others. They respected themselves and each other. When food ran out, they shared. When it rained, they shared whatever they had to cover themselves. When disagreements occurred, they settled them peacefully. When someone overdosed or had bad trips, there were others and medics to help them. They worked together to make this temporary society flourish. As Spock says in Star Trek, the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few … or the one.

Contrast that with today’s society. It seems to me that disrespect has become the norm. The values of our society which has existed for generations seems to have become eroded. Language has deteriorated to the point that curse words are used commonly in language by both sexes in public and on television. Dress has become so casual that in some cases it borders on sloppy and unsanitary. Respect for institutions is not trendy nor important. Values seem to be only important when it serves the needs of the person. Verbal attacks upon others occur daily and fake news and innuendo have become okay to use as fact. People will trample others to get the sale item when in limited quantities. Often, we don’t hear thank you or please even when holding the door for others. Protests have replaced communication, problem solving, compromise, or even mutual discussion. Selfishness and materialism seem to have become the norm and are reinforced by our media. The needs of the one appears to be more important than the needs of the many.

What has caused this in the past almost 50 years? We can point to many factors: fear, anger, the Vietnam War and others, the coming of age of the Internet, advertising, the pursuit of more money at the expense of others, the absence of appropriate role modeling by adults, drugs and alcohol, lies and deceit by politicians, celebrities, and broadcast news, serial abusers, Madoff type scandals, hidden agendas, and a silent society that allows these changes to occur. I am sure we can cite more causes.

Can we ever regain respect for our society to function? I would like to be optimistic and think yes. We see it in the support our nation gives to others when there is a disaster. We see it when individuals volunteer their money and time to help those who are less fortunate. We see it in the dedicated teachers and first responders. We see it in many others who still honor our values.

What can you do? Respect yourself. Follow the Golden Rule. Stick to your standards even though others may not. Say “thank you” and please. Smile at others. Be courteous. Let others get in front of you while driving. Just be concerned about the needs of the many rather than the needs of the one.

As always, I am interested in your thoughts. If you would like to respond to this blog, email me your comments at and I will publish them next month.

Email of the Month

We would like to thank Dr. Howie for the following email:

Subject: Interesting explanations (if accurate or not)

“They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot. Once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive, you were ‘piss poor.’ But worse than that were the really poor folks who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot. They ‘didn’t have a pot to piss in’ and were considered the lowest of the low.”

“Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.”

“Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women, and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, ‘Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!’”

“Houses had thatched roofs with thick straw-piled high and no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained, it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, ‘It’s raining cats and dogs.’ There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That’s how canopy beds came into existence.”

“The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the term, ‘dirt poor.’ The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence, ‘a thresh hold.’”

“In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day, they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme, ‘Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.’ Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could ‘bring home the bacon.’ They would cut off a little to share with guests, and would all sit around and ‘chew the fat.’”

“Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous. Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the ‘upper crust.’”

“Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a ‘wake.’”

“In old, small villages, local folks started running out of places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins,1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside, and they realized they had been burying people alive. So, they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (‘the graveyard shift’) to listen for the bell. Thus, someone could be ‘saved by the bell,’ or was considered a ‘dead ringer.’

Till November…

The information provided in this electronic newsletter is not a substitute for professional treatment. It is the opinions of the writers and is provided solely for educational purposes. For mental health care, seek a qualified professional.

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If you find this information interesting or helpful, please forward this E-Letter to your contacts and friends. Copyright © 2017 by Joel I. Kimmel, Ph.D. P.A. and Associates.