Monday, May 21, 2018

Changing the World with Respect

By Amy Krupp, blue belt, CTI BBC Member

While reading the daily news, it’s hard not to get a little bit down about the state of the world. It seems lately that the only news is bad news. I can’t help but think that the world would be a much better place if everyone did their best to treat every person they interact with on a daily basis with respect. Respect is such a simple thing really, but something that can have a huge positive impact on the world.

Martial arts black belt and student showing respect with a bowThe dictionary defines respect as “a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.” I like to think of respect as something a little bit broader than that though. I recently read a story about a father explaining the concept of respect to his children, and I like the definition he gave them. He said that respect is treating something that matters like it matters, and disrespect is treating something that matters like it doesn’t matter. It’s a simple definition, but it really resonated with me. I try to live my life in that way. My family and friends mean a great deal to me, so I do my best to show them how much they mean to me by showing them respect. I do this by showing my love and support, and doing whatever I can to make sure they know that they are valued and important. This can permeate in every aspect of life. You can show respect for your belongings by treating them like they matter- whether that means changing the oil in your car, or sweeping the floor in the kitchen. You can show respect for your studies by listening to your teacher, studying for your exams, and doing your homework. You can show respect for yourself by eating right, getting your exercise, and getting enough sleep. Respect can be shown in every aspect of life.

When you move forward with this mindset of showing respect to everything and everyone, things will start to change. I know that one area of my life that I struggle to show respect is with people who have vastly different political and social beliefs than my own. It can be hard to respect someone who is saying something that completely conflicts with your own moral beliefs. But it’s important to remember that everyone is human. Just because they don’t agree with you on every topic doesn’t mean they don’t deserve respect. You may find that you agree with them on other topics. You may find that they have reasons for believing what they believe. I have found that I can get along with most everyone if I look for common ground, and remember that everyone deserves respect.

The next time you read the news, imagine how almost every negative story could be erased if everyone involved showed respect toward each other. When it comes down to it, we’re all just people trying to live our lives the best way we know how. Everyone is someone’s child, parent, friend, or coworker. Everyone matters. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter who that person voted for, or where they were born, or whether they think pineapple belongs on pizza. All that matters is that they are doing the best they can. You can do your part in making the world a better place, and in making the news a little happier, by looking for the good in people, and by moving forward with the intention of treating everyone and everything with respect.