A common phrase often heard is “respect is earned, not given.” While many people may carry this as their creed, I cannot agree with it. I believe that it is important to understand that the fundamentals of equality rest on mutual respect and kindness. Granted, not everyone is “compatible” and not everyone understands or gets along with their peers.
However, feuds aside, everyone deserves respect. It is often taken for granted how far a little bit of respect can travel. My creed is on the foundation of this respect. While many people may not ‘deserve’ respect, it is important to note that simply because you’re giving people this basic human respect does not mean that they cannot lose this respect. Respect should never have to be earned, but it can be lost.
John Cogley, religious writer and editor of the New York Times, famously writes that “Tolerance implies a respect for another person, not because he is wrong or even because he is right, but because he is human”. This follows along with the idea that respect isn’t a fabricated thing, it should be natural, if it isn’t, there is an issue.
It is interesting to note that the dictionary definition is to admire. To have reverence or esteem for one. In this case it isn’t so much admiring or esteeming, but to hold or to regard everyone and to be conscientious of the people surrounding you. It isn’t a difficult thing to do, but often times people will choose rudeness or insensitivity above all else as it seemingly takes ‘less effort’. This should not be the case. Bryant H. McGill, writer for the Wall Street Journal and human rights activist notes that “One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say.” This is something that I hold to my creed because I believe that everyone deserves to be heard and respected, even if what they have to say is wrong. It doesn’t need to be a matter of fact, but it is important to try to understand and to listen, opposed to shouting out and harassing with incorrect or irrelevant ‘fact’.
Something else I hold dearly to my creed is a hard work ethic. Selena Quintanilla, the late Mexican-American pop singer, has been quoted as saying “When you get hard work you get success, and [we] put a lot of years into it.” It is clear that recently we have been facing a vicissitude of America in which laziness is prevailing. This clandestine rebellion is self-deteriorating and should be stopped. Above all else goes mental and physical health, but neither issues are excuses for idleness. “I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before,” Ray Bradbury lectures, “But it's true- hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something then don’t do it. “
Interestingly enough, a goal that's been set in media and minds of the youth for the past decade is that success can be given to you. It comes to a harsh awakening when it is found out that it cannot. It's important to learn this and to teach it, that way it is known. Success can be fleeting, but to truly capture it requires hard work and a positive mindset.
In the end it's all about the work you put in and how you treat others along the way. Not only should you work hard for yourself, but to work hard for others. In a job many people will rely on you and your effort to the job. It isn’t just you. You must respect others on a team and work hard with all of them in order to make a positive group effort.
Respect and hard work are often quite underrated, and unfortunately as well. They go a long way together, and can branch out far when paired. It is sad to see how they are so taken for granted in a modern society. I believe everyone deserves respect, even if they aren’t reputable. One of Einstein’s most famous quotes is 'I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.' I believe everyone should have this mindset. No one is above anyone else in terms of how the should be treated or spoken to, and no one should act like that.
In an ideal world of equality that people push for so hard, we’d need to understand these two things. Respect and hard work. They’re not difficult concepts and they’re seemingly simple. However, they’re very important to understand to create a functional society in which everyone can be happy and successful.
This is my creed, and it is very important to me. I often wish others would see things in my light, but unfortunately I cannot force anyone to believe or to hold the things I hold dear. Even simple things such as kindness are often times forgotten, and abandoned over pride, a deteriorating factor in our society.