Respect is the Key to Life

sara - rock falls, Illinois
Entered on September 16, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: respect
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • 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 is the Key to Life

Can you imagine a world without respect? For example, walking by someone who has their hands full and not offering to open the door for them, or giving a nice comment to someone who is having a bad day. Doing these things will bring a smile to someone’s face and influence them to be respectful to others. I believe that when you respect others you will be respected back and be remembered as a respectful person.

I didn’t take respect seriously until the end of high school. It took a lot of bad behavior to finally figure it out. I can’t figure out what made me want to change, it could be numerous reasons. Maybe it was all the teasing I did to other people, and later I was teased. It could also be talking behind people back and then finding out it’s been done to me. Having all these things happen to me made me realize that being disrespectful wasn’t getting me anywhere and that’s when I realized I needed to change and start being respectful. I needed to prove to my family and friends that I had changed. Although I am respectful to others I still don’t always get respected back, but I can’t let that discourage me; it makes me want to give more to influence people to be respectful.

I also think respect and karma go hand and hand. Some people don’t believe in karma, but if you really think about the things you’ve done and the things that have happened after you did it the outcome wasn’t good. As an example of this, maybe a single woman sleeps with a married man. Later they get caught and the married man begs for forgiveness, while the single woman feels bad but it’s not her, so she doesn’t put much thought or consideration into the situation. Later down the road, the single woman gets married and is happy with no worries until the day her husband cheats on her. She will be devastated and heartbroken but then she will think back to when she committed the act and realized it was karma that paid her a visit. I learn from watching other people’s mistakes and my own.

I believe respect is another way of being nice and helpful. If someone asked for help, do so with a smile. Because that could be you asking for help and you’re going to want respect. I’ve learned that if you do things for others out of respect they will be there when you need it. I value a lot of things in my life, but the one I value most is respect because respect is the key to a good life.