I Believe In Respect

Juan - salinas, California
Entered on May 6, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: respect
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I believe respect is a very important quality to possess. Many people in this world don’t know the real definition of respect and believe it’s just following common laws, but it’s more than that. I define respect as taking an individuals feelings, needs, thoughts, ideas, wishes, and preferences into consideration by treating that person as you would like to be treated. Respect must be given or earned by a person.

All societies have their own signs and gestures of respect. The Armed Forces salute superior officers as a gesture of respect. A very popular sign of respect in Asian cultures is to bow down to someone when greeting them. These gestures might not seem important, but they are quiet significant. Popular U.S. customs are to wave or shake hands when you meet someone. My family ethnic background and upbringing has taught me to always shake hands when you greet someone. If I saw a person I knew, and elected not to greet them, I would be disrespecting them and showing my lack of cultural respect and understanding.

Growing up in Salinas, CA I have learned the valuable lesson of respect at an early age. One day, in third grade, I was walking to school and on the way there I encountered two Caucasian males surrounded and being harassed by four of my friends. My friends were yelling derogatory comments like, “white boy”, “cracker”, and “snowman”. As I approached closer to my friends, the two young men where being harassed were visibly upset and began running to class to avoid additional verbal abuse. At school, I questioned my friends. I asked them, “Why were you guys picking on them?” One of my friends replied, “It’s just fun, and I don’t know why we do it”. My friends did not know the two kids or their names at , and they had disrespected them for no reason. Their feelings were obviously hurt that day by my four friends picking on them. It is important for them to know that consequences arise from these confrontations. Some of the extreme consequences that come disrespect include ending up in jail or dead. This illustrates that having a lack of respect will get you nowhere in life. Unfortunately, I have experienced disrespect in the past. One day Josh , a classmate in 9th grade, said sarcastically, “Good luck graduating high school and in life”. These words hurt my feelings and I became upset that someone would think of me like that. He disrespected my future goals, and assumed I would never excel in life. Josh did not believe I would amount to do anything and his comment motivated me to do my best and excel in life.

I always strive to respect everyone at all times, and in return I also earn it. I feel to earn respect you must give respect. I’ve earned the respect of many people. By not giving up and running in 100 degree weather just to make the tackle that prevents my team from losing the football. Also, if I never earned my teacher’s respect, I would not have received any letters of recommendation these letters were essential in helping me attain two scholarships. This is an example of the positive aspects that come by earning respect. Once you earn respect, you must strive to maintain it.

Respect is a very powerful tool. People should be aware of what can respect is

and how it can affect peoples lives. My personal belief is no matter if you’re a millionaire or in a lower class, you still have one thing to give and receive, and that is respect.