Respect is Earned

Christopher - San Diego, California
Entered on April 29, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe respect is earned if I simply respect others.

As I was growing up, I was always taught to respect others. When I didn’t receive the same respect in return, I got into thinking that I needed to do certain things that will get me respect.

I tried being a tough guy. Watching movies that portrayed gangsters, or the Italian mafia, convinced me to be a tough guy to gain respect. Unfortunately, There were certain actions that I could not commit toward becoming a tough guy; I had to disrespect others, which was totally against my belief that I’ve been taught. So, I had to find something else to get me the respect I wanted. I tried being a musician. I learned how to play the guitar, but I didn’t have my own style. I learned the piano, but I never played at a recital. So, I never got the respect I wanted. Then, I tried being popular. I tried to hang out with everyone at school. I tried to go to every party, even if I didn’t know the person that was having one. Still, not the respect I wanted.

I later realized that I didn’t have to search for ways to get respect. All I need to do is respect others and I’ll get the respect I need.

Being all grown up and worrying about more important things in life, I learned that respect was always present, but I was too involved in finding what I wanted. I learned to respect others and not expect anything in return. When I forget what I want, I get the best respect that I could possibly have.

I love my whole family and they support my efforts in becoming an engineer. I never asked them to be overjoyed for me by being a student, but when I go to family parties, I’m always introduced joyfully, “Here is our engineer”. I have friends that come to me for advice. Most of the time, my advice works, but majority of my friends says that I’m the person to talk to because I simply respect who they are, no matter the circumstance. Young teenagers and children at my church youth group listen to me when I discipline them. Being a youth group leader at one point in my life, I know how difficult it is to maintain order with a group of teenagers. When the rest of the other leaders were unable to keep the group quiet, I would step in and tell them to be quiet, and they would always listen.

It is not always easy to see my realization because I never get the respect I want. I now know that the respect I’m receiving is only earned by doing what I’ve always learned growing up.