I define respect as the inalienable right to dignity as human beings. Albert Einstein once said, “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” Respect is not dependent upon wealth, power or fame. Nor is it determined by nationality, gender or religion. Showing respect in today’s society does not require belief or support of the views of a person. It is recognizing his or her value in life as a human being that constitutes respect.
I witness this definition of respect in my church. Though all of the members are Catholic, we may hold varying opinions such as our political preferences. Despite these disparities, we come together every Sunday because of our faith. During the liturgy all of our differences are cast aside, and we become one community. Though we are from all walks of life, we show each other respect by equally participating in this spiritual gathering.
Respect can also be found in the school that I attend. For example, every year my school holds the Interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer Service. We invite religious leaders from all different faiths and denominations to share in the meaning of thankfulness. Though not necessarily believing in their faiths, we listen to their sermons out of respect. My school also supports respect with the PALS (Pure Abiding Love Saves) Club. The club focuses on the sanctity of marriage as well as regard to others’ sexuality. We discuss the negative effects of pre-marital relations and the undermining of the value of life that it causes. It is out of respect for others that this club exists.
The culmination of this concept can be witnessed in the youth that participate in the Anti-Defamation League. Later this month, I will be traveling to Washington, D.C., as part of the Anti-Defamation League. The Florida representatives and I have attended multiple meetings to discuss discrimination and bigotry. During one meeting we listened to a Holocaust survivor. It is...