I was asked to speak about the topic of respect to a bunch of teenage girls and I sat down to think and this is what I came up with:
We all know what it means, it is how we include it in our life that makes the word actually mean something. First thing first, you need to respect yourself. You need to respect the things you have from your pair of shoes to your expensive laptop. Respecting your things depending on the dollar value isn’t the right way to respect. You have to realize that dressing a certain way, acting a certain way, going to certain places all show yourself and others the level at which you respect yourself. Do you respect yourself not to drug yourself up? Or throw yourself at the opposite sex the first chance you get? You decide how much you respect yourself, and I’ll tell you if it is anything less than 100% you need to change the people you’re around, you need to figure out what is stopping you from respecting yourself 100%. Most of the time it is because of people you surround yourself with, and although you may not like to hear that, it is the truth.
The next part of respect is respecting how other people want to be respected. I would not say just respect other people because you can say you’re respecting them but to them you are doing something that they do not appreciate. There is a famous saying that goes: “don’t treat others the way you do not want to be treated,” but when it comes to respect it is not about you, it is about how they want to be respected and only that is true respect.
United States Air Force Lt. General John Silveria gave a great speech on respect. There are so many levels of respect, I started with respecting yourself and then others, he spoke about respecting others race and identity, which is part of respecting another person but in a different form. During our daily activity we encounter scenarios that entail respecting one’s property, feelings, and personal space. When you live with someone, family, spouse, partner, or a friend, there are different areas that you are faced with where you need to respect what the people living with you need. For example, are you respectful to not talk loud on the phone if they are studying? Do you leave your plate in the sink for the next person to do, not thinking about if it will affect them?
All you have to do is think a little bit outside your selfish bubble for a millisecond and make a choice that can make someone feel valued.