This I Believe

Kayla - Cochise, Arizona
Entered on June 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: respect
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

Respect: Much More Than a Word

Respect is one of the most important actions that one can conduct and benefit from in their life. It is a crucial action that can lead to friendship or enemies, and as Aretha Franklin sang, “R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me…” This simple verse illustrates that this seven letter word holds a significant meaning. Everyone knows what it means, everyone wants it, and yet not everybody is willing to give it. I believe that respect is one of the essential foundations to exist in harmony and can dissolve strife between individuals.

Throughout my life, I have always gone by the golden rule, “Treat others as you would like to be treated”. The most important aspect of this phrase is respect. By having respect for others, you will gain respect in return and each person can walk away with a feeling of worth and self-esteem.

Furthermore, respect should not be limited to social class, caste, or race. These differences are not an excuse for lack of reverence but rather the spice of life. Whether a person is working in an environment cleaning restrooms, cooking in a fast food restaurant, or president of a company, it is essential to lay prejudices and disrespect aside and coexist in harmony. Everyone is human no matter what he or she may do to support themselves. Even if they have more money, a better job, or is on the opposite end of the spectrum with no worldly possession, each individual deserves respect since we all came into this world the same way. Materialistic assets should not be a reason to deprive one of respect and ultimately emotional wellbeing.

A job situation is not the only area where respect is needed. If people would give respect to all the different ethnic groups, the world could be more peaceful place for us to live. Pigment, dialect, and location are not reasons to withhold respect from an individual.

Each new person that you encounter should be viewed as a precious human being and an opportunity to learn and grow with respect to each new idea. Being open minded to one another, showing interest, and caring will contribute to a respectful attitude that will bond people together in a positive way. Mutual respect would make this world a much better place by helping each other see that we all have a place here and can live in harmony. However, giving respect to one another does not mean we have to see eye to eye, but rather give common courtesy to each other as we journey through life together.