The most important word in the paranormal community should be respect.  Unfortunately, it’s something which seems to be practiced less and less by more and more people.  Let’s consider for a moment why respect is so important and why it needs to return as one of the primary virtues among paranormal researchers.  We must show respect to both the living and the dead.

Starting with the living, we must show respect to both our fellow researchers and the owners of the places we investigate.  The amount of childish disrespect among certain people and groups is frankly ridiculous and does nothing to further the reputation of paranormal research as a serious pursuit among the general public.  Instead of serious discussions about theories, research and findings, far too many online sites degrade into nothing but personal attacks and pubic in-fighting.  This is simply unacceptable.  It’s perfectly acceptable for people to hold differing opinions (especially in a field where there are no concrete answers).  These differing opinions might even result in spirited debate.  However, it’s never acceptable to allow differences of opinion to degrade into nothing more than childish name calling and personal attacks.

Likewise we must respect the owners of the places we investigate.  We don’t have a right to investigate any location.  Instead, we are allowed into locations thanks to the good graces of those who own those locations.  They deserve our respect.  Additionally, we must ask ourselves why we’re conducting paranormal research.  If the answer is anything other than to help others, then you should seriously consider your motives for doing this type of research.  There’s a problem from the get-go with respect if you’re “into” the paranormal but lack the motivation to help others.

Now let’s turn to those who deserve our utmost respect, the dead.  If you are incapable of showing respect to the dead, you need to find something else to do with your time, period.  This goes back to your motivation.  If you’re “into” the paranormal simply because it looks “cool” on TV or to get some sort of “thrill,” you immediately disrespect the dead.  Ghosts are not trained dogs who perform on our command – they are the souls of human beings, human beings who were once just as flesh and blood as you and me.  Unfortunately, most of the TV shows today, which is where many now seem to get their “training,” give the exact opposite impression – that “ghosts” can be treated as nothing but objects we can make “perform” for our enjoyment.  Do not fall into this trap.

How can we respect the dead?  It’s actually rather simple: don’t do anything or say anything you wouldn’t say or do to a living person as a guest in their home.  Yes, that means any sort of “provoking” is unacceptable.  It might look “sexy” on TV, but in reality it’s the height of disrespect for the dead.  If your mama didn’t teach you simple manners, then once again, you need to find something else to do with your time.

Let’s get back to that word respect – both for the living and for the dead.

2010 All rights reserved.  This copyrighted material may not be reposted or reproduced in any form without permission.]


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