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    R-E-S-P-E-C-T – What Does It Mean To You?

    by Ngozi Osuagwu, MD | August 19th, 2018

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T – What Does It Mean To You?

    “We all require and want respect, man or woman, black or white. It’s our basic human right”

    Aretha Franklin


    When I heard that Aretha Franklin died, my first thought was what an amazing woman. I prayed that her family would find peace. Later that day, I looked at my playlist to see if I had bought any of her songs over the years. The only song I had was ‘Respect’.

    I think the last time I played that song was over a year ago at a girls get together, but when I played it this time, I really listened to the words. After all, although she had a lot of music credited to her, she had mentioned in an interview that if she were to put one of her recordings in a time capsule, it would be ‘Respect’.

    This time when I listened, I thought about the line:

    R-E-S-P-E-C-T – find out what it means to me.

    What does respect mean to me? What does respect mean to you?

    I went online to my favorite search engine – google and typed in – definition of respect.

    There were several definitions but the one that resonated with me was found in the Urban dictionary –

    Treating people in a positive manner that acknowledges them for who they are and/or what they are doing. Respect is earned and is never just given. You must give respect to receive respect.

    What a positive reminder of how we should conduct our daily lives when dealing with a diverse group of people regardless of sex, race, socioeconomic status, disability, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc. What an emotionally healthy society we would have.

    She is so right, it is a human right. Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul, rest in peace and thank you for sharing your talent and wisdom with all of us.

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    With her trademark wit and straightforward communication, Dr. Osuagwu continues to dole out valuable medical advice using the letter form and addressing women’s health conditions and issues in a method that was praised for its innovative approach in her earlier award-winning book, Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice from a Gynecologist. In this book, each letter is paired with reference sources and statistics about the condition that is the subject of the letter.

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    The book discusses common gynecological and women’s health issues in a series of witty and entertaining letters. These letters, all educational, offer suggestions on what approaches to take in tackling the medical problems that typically bring women to an ob/gynecologist. The letters are spiced with art, a poem and quotes. Although its emphasis is on gynecology and women’s health, it touches on some other medical issues that make women visit their doctors.

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