The Virtue of Respect

Ryan - Norman, Oklahoma
Entered on February 7, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

It is a common discourtesy to accidentally disrespect the most important people in your life. Subconsciously, I had a bad problem with this a few years back. However, the only serious throwback in my life changed me a great deal. It’s funny how one life altering experience can change who you are and your outlook on the life you have and the people who make your life worth living.

For the majority of my life, I have lived on the eastern shore of Maryland, in the medium sized city of Salisbury. The happiness that my home city brought me is indescribable. Each season brought with it a different kind of beauty. By far, Fall was my favorite. My block was lined with trees that turned to the brightest colors of red, yellow, and orange you could ever imagine. In addition to the beauty, the geography of Maryland conquered the arid and dry one that my new home, Texas, shared. Maryland was covered in rivers that merged off of the gorgeous Chesapeake Bay, who eventually emptied into the Atlantic Ocean, which was only half an hour away from my house. This, however, is not the importance of my story. My point is to make it clear, that none of these amazing things mattered when I was around my friends. Nothing mattered, unless I was with my friends. I had three brothers that were more important to me, than the rest of my family.

When I was around my family, I lost all sense of respect towards them, especially my twin sister. I didn’t understand the point. I treated her like she was dirt and our relationship was non-existent. After a solid ten years of living in Maryland, my life seemed to end when my Dad took a better job as a hospital administrator in Plano, Texas. I had lost the only family I knew of. My three brothers were gone. However depressing, this bump in the road allowed me to see how extraordinary my real family was. After a month, my sister was my best friend. After two years of Texas life, I was closer to her than I ever was with any of my brothers in Salisbury. We went everywhere together and enjoyed each other’s company more than any of our other friends. Being respectful to her and the rest of my family taught me lessons of respect that I would have never learned any other way.

If I live by any belief, it is that respect is the most important thing in life. Whether it is respecting yourself or others, it causes only good, and perfection in life has only this guideline. Respecting yourself leads to health, prosperity, and happiness. Respecting others leads to undeniably happy relationships, rare opportunities, and a reputation of greatness. It is a necessity and a virtue, of which, my way of life is shaped and carried out during every single, beautiful, perfect day.