Was having dinner with my daughter last night and she was telling me about her ethics class. They were posed with a dilemma – you are conducting a train and you learn that you are going to crash into five people OR you can switch tracks and only kill one person. But you are choosing to kill that one person.
My answer was that once you have an option, you are accountable to both choices for what you choose.
The Senate Dress Code is a similar situation. It is not only what they are choosing TO do, it is also what they are choosing NOT to do. They are choosing not to follow the code they are imposing on others. They are choosing not to show respect.
Dressing is self expression, but in certain situations it is not self expression first. When a soldier puts on a uniform, and wears it, I dunno, ALL DAY EVERY DAY, he or she is choosing to dress for respect of country, the betterment of their peers, and to play their role as a part of a larger at the potential cost of their lives. AND YOU CAN’T BUTTON A COLLAR?
One of the more astonishing juxtapositions in this whole scenario is when a senator casts a budget vote for a soldier, the senator clad in whatever the **** they want while the soldier must wear what they are told. Shame.
There are circumstances of smaller responsibility where what you wear is totally up to you. For most of us, that is most of the time. But when you assume the mantle and walk into a hallowed hall, that is not a circumstance of smaller responsibility. That is a circumstance of the highest responsibility. Whether it be health care or war or crime or food – your work SHOULD be saving lives every day. And your comportment should reflect your respect for that work. And actually, no matter what you have on, it does reflect that.
I saw the response, should have seen it coming. “Shouldn’t we be talking about bigger things than my taste in clothes?”
My answer: SOME of us should. Those of us who come correct. You want to be heard? Present yourself as worthy of the volume.
If it is too much of a bother to dress in a suit to do high work, what other corners are you all willing to cut? And that is part of my peeve here as well – the I-can’t-be-uncomfortable-or-bothered bit. Really? You think the soldiers or the infirmed or the impoverished or law enforcement – you think it is fine for THEM to have to wear a code, but you don’t?
The post two days ago got a pretty big response, including a few I-am-too-polite-to-mention knock off articles. But it also got me thinking. If as a collective body you choose to not be inconvenienced such that it is too much to show respect, well, tell me the difference between that and disregard. Be humble enough to show your people you care, rather than so arrogant that you feel like you are on such high ground it doesn’t matter.
The answer to what-does-it-matter-what-I-wear lies in the mouths of our military, our first responders. Why don’t you ask THEM if it matters? Why don’t you choose to say I-am-one-of-YOU?