This I Believe

Sarah - Florence, Alabama
Entered on May 7, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: respect

Respect Regardless

“Respect should be earned not given.” How many times have we heard that statement? Several, but how should we treat people we don’t know? Should we dismiss them as though they are the scum of the earth, or give them the benefit of the doubt? I believe people deserve respect not only for their specific actions towards others, but for their general attempt at survival in this world.

I believe respect is not just a theme we got from Aretha Franklin, but a necessary component to our personal stability and happiness. I struggle and trudge through difficulties each day and sometimes fail to realize that those around me are facing the same or even worse problems. We have gotten so hung up in OUR problems and how others treat US that we don’t pay attention to how we treat them. Our excuses and apologies should be capsized by a general love and respect for all mankind.

I believe in respect for all people. How we are treated directly corresponds with the amount of respect people have for us. When others don’t feel as though we deserve much respect we’re treated like second class citizens who are here just to ensure others’ superiority over us. It’s sad that we have forgotten how much support others need from us.

I believe occupation should not be used to gauge how much respect a person deserves. As a young woman who has been a waitress, a nanny, a student and a teacher, I have dealt with my fair share of disrespectful people. I’ve had children curse at me, customers yell obscenities me, teachers belittle and laugh at me and students just flat out ignore me. We all deserve to be respected and should have a general admiration and respect for our fellow man. If everyone in the world treated just one person a day with all the respect they could muster, our world would be a much more civil and enjoyable place to live.

I believe in respect for all because we’re supposed to be a country built on “liberty and equality for all”. To be just and equal we have to respect others regardless of all the superficial factors that may hinder our opinion. Our respect should not be handed out to those we feel inferior to, but to each individual we meet. Everyone wants respect, and everyone deserves respect. This I believe.