The Value of Respect

Steven - Bremerton, Washington
Entered on December 11, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: family, respect

I believe in respect. It means a lot to me. Yet it’s amazing how many people live their lives demanding respect from others, but are not willing to give it in return.

I grew up in poor communities otherwise known as the ‘projects’ where respect was not a commonality. I witnessed a lot of people looking down upon my mom for selling drugs with kids in tow in order to make ends meet. I knew early on in life that I didn’t want to be like these people passing judgement on a woman they knew nothing about. While others spent time looking down their noses at her, she continued to preach the importance of respect.

Ironically, this situation taught me about the word respect and what it means. My mom thought negatively of herself because others thought negatively of her. This lack of self-respect kept her a victim of her environment. Yet it was this same lack of self-respect that spoke volumes to me.

I love mom with my entire being. And I respect her. Although I don’t agree with the way she made her living, I respect her motive for doing so. At the time, it was the only life she knew.

Now that I’m grown up with a family of my own I, too am doing my best to teach them the value of respect. The value that I hold dear, that I gleaned from my own childhood, I now share with my children. I am teaching them to always respect themselves and in doing so they will naturally respect others.

This is what is right and this is what I believe.