Earning and showing respect for others

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I will forever be grateful to my parents for raising me the way they did.
Sure there were many bumps in the road to adulthood, but my parents made sure I was equipped with the tools to overcome problems and function as an adult.
One of the many lessons I learned from them was how to treat others with respect.
When I was younger, I believed that all adults should be respected. However, now that I’m older, I believe true respect should be earned.
During the course of a day, I show respect to the people I meet, whether it be greeting someone in a friendly manner or holding the door open for someone.
It’s a quality I believe we all should possess; respect for our fellow human beings.
Dictionary.com defines respect as “esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.”
The above definition is a truer representation of how I come to respect a person.
I’m definitely not perfect and as such am guilty of doing things unworthy of the respect of my peers. However, for the most part, I strive everyday to be the best I can be.
I remember the first and only time I showed disrespect to one of my teachers. I was in junior high and I talked back to him.
That evening, I went home and through tears told my mom what I had done. She was disappointed of course. That evening, consumed with guilt, I composed a letter of apology, which I delivered to him the next day. I didn’t do it to make myself feel better. He was in a position of power and I should have respected that.
Since that time, I’ve encountered many more people in positions of power and there are few I can honestly say have earned my utmost respect.
Just like with teachers, there is a certain amount of respect that has to be shown to those in power. However, no matter what your position in life, if your actions and deeds are not completed with honorable intentions, then true respect is most certainly lost.
On the other side of that coin, a certain amount of respect should also be shown to students and employees.
The halls of schools in Pearl River County will soon be filled with students and I encourage all of them to show their teachers and administrators the respect they deserve.
It’s not a popularity contest and you don’t have to like people to respect them. It’s my hope that we all live our lives in a manner that will garner the respect of others.

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