Why respect is vital

Art by Myah Teague

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Society decides to dictate our self-esteem. It likes to manipulate us and twist our conceptions, contort our standards, warp our values. This is common knowledge, but people need to have respect for others’ beliefs. Period.

However, there are misconceptions. Respect doesn’t mean approval of the opposing side’s actions or ideals, but it involves acknowledging that they deserve recognition too. For example, think of the “Golden Rule” you were taught in kindergarten. Sure, you may think it’s a cheesy suggestion now, but because people don’t treat others like they would like to be treated, opinion articles like this are being written. Fights are being fought. Tragedies have occurred. Terrible brawls send little Johnny home with a black eye because he was too small to get his point across.

Respect is listening, not enforcing your ideas. Respect goes both ways in a relationship, which means that the people arguing need to hear each other, but that doesn’t mean you need to agree with them. Listening will show them that you care about what they have to say.

The story is different when it comes to an authority figure. People who have been put in charge of you are responsible for you. In return, you need to respect their decisions in what they want you to do. They have your best interests in mind, even if that is not always clear.

Conversely, people should not be overly sensitive. Nowadays, it seems that the go-to response to when someone all but whispers a new opinion on an issue is to convince themselves that they are offended beyond belief. Just as violence is never the answer, neither is going off on a rant.

People need to remember that what they say can really hurt others, even if it is just a little comment that you don’t think twice about. Even if the comment wasn’t directed at the person who felt hurt, we should still be careful with the words that come out of our mouths. So, please, grow some skin and stop bullying those who never wanted an argument in the first place.

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