As the daughter, granddaughter, niece, cousin, and friend, of military veterans, I wanted to take today to honor the people who have served in or are currently serving in the armed forces. I know the sacrifices that need to be made to be able to wear those uniforms and it is a position that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Being part of the military is something that shouldn’t be taken for granted and I feel honored to have such close ties to the military. From the days of watching my father come home in his uniform or seeing my uncle retire to even witnessing members of the military honoring my relatives after their passing, I have always had respect for the military and their veterans. Whenever I see a veteran, I always feel a special attachment to them because the life of veterans is all too familiar to me. So, if you see a veteran today or any day, make sure to show them respect and remember what they’ve done for you.
In honor of today’s All Star Game and Derek Jeter’s last season, let’s tip our hat to a legend, the Captain… #2.
There may be a lot of buzz around the start of summer, upcoming cookouts, and the end of the semester, but it’s important to remember and respect our military heroes that this time is dedicated to. They are the men and women who risk their lives every day for our well-being. Many of these individuals even give their life in exchange for ours. That kind of sacrifice deserves plenty of respect and recognition. Once a soldier, always a soldier and they will never be forgotten.
If a woman goes to school and becomes a professional, she’s independent and is breaking boundaries, but is also possibly a feminist. If a man goes to school and becomes a professional, he’s providing for his family. Why can’t they both just looking out for their futures? If a woman asks a guy out, she’s desperate, but if a man asks a girl out, he’s doing what’s expected of him. Wouldn’t you say they’re both just taking initiative? If a woman is your boss and tells you to redo something you did wrong, she’s PMSing and irrational. However, if a man is your boss and tells you to redo something you did wrong, he’s being a good leader. The truth is they’re both simply doing their jobs. These are just a few of the many double standards that exist in our world. The common scenario where a man is placed higher than the female, but women are not always innocent when it comes to taking advantage of inequality.
If a woman wants to have an intellectual conversation, that should be respected, but, if a guy wants to have an intellectual conversation, he’s boring? A 40-year old guy checking out a 20-year old girl makes the guy a perv, but a 40-year old woman checking out a 20-year old guy makes her a girl who’s just looking at some eye candy? When a guy gropes a woman, it’s called sexual harassment. When a woman gropes a man, it’s called being aggressive? Make the man the shallow one in any case and he’s to blame, but women are hardly ever called out on their skin deep intentions and honestly it’s embarrassing to see how quick some women can be when it comes to acting just as bad as a wasted frat boy.
Ladies, don’t feed double standards. You complain so much about being held down because of your gender yet you abuse the power your sex has the first chance you get. You are just as much to blame for the rampid inequality we all face. Don’t call out men for being chauvinists, when you can’t even prove to them that you have self-control and a brain. If you don’t want to be treated differently and if you don’t want to be seen as a piece of meat, then don’t treat men like they’re steaks. Remember that telling a guy to take his shirt off is the equivalent of a guy asking you to flash him. Mutual respect is the key here and don’t forget that. Always keep it classy.
In life, you’ll meet countless people. Some will become friends, others will remain strangers, and many will only serve as temporary acquaintances, but they all have in common the fact that they will make mistakes and search for a second chance. My personal belief is that people should be able to make mistakes. Nobody is all-knowing, so it’s ok if we stray from our paths, but only for a moment. As soon as we make a mistake and realize it, we should learn from it and not repeat it. However, if a person decides to do wrong again, then they no longer deserve your time and care. I think that a second chance is always in order, but a third chance? Never.
I once knew a girl who was so sweet and an amazing friend. I knew her for years and we always had each other’s back. After high school, life happened and things weren’t so simple. Before I knew it, she had moved away and months had come and gone. The next time I heard from her, my dear friend was confiding in me all of her latest stories. For the next year, our friendship was stronger than it had ever been. Her second chance was being used well and I didn’t regret a thing, but, as fast as our friendship was restored, the flakiness returned. Myself and a few other close “friends” became an after thought for her, a last resort, perhaps even a burden. Phone calls remained unanswered, text messages went ignored, and visits were non-existent. My old friend only turned to me when she had exhausted all of her resources and there was no one else to go to. She wanted me to be there day and night whenever she called, when she wouldn’t come close to doing the same.
The day I realized our friendship was only a game to her was the day her second chance ended. Her third chance will never come and neither will a fourth or fifth. After so much betrayal, lack of trust, and separation, but no lesson learned and no appreciation gained, I refuse to put myself back in that situation. I did all that I could do, yet nothing changed, so another chance is not in order and a third should never be. Respect yourself enough to place boundaries on others. If you continue to forgive those who could care less about your life, then you will continue to be belittled and disrespected. Do not give a third chance to someone who took advantage of their first and second.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard people say that their respect needs to be earned or that others need to give respect to get respect. I ask myself, how does this make sense? What is it that makes someone better than another to demand for their respect to be earned? Why is it that another person has to show respect first? How is this fair? This way of thinking is, frankly put, selfish. It is all blurred by arrogance and pride, creating a complete double standard.
Often times, these feelings of superiority may be expressed toward someone younger, a stranger who rubbed you the wrong way, or maybe someone who you think already disrespected you, but what makes you so much better than them that you can’t show respect first? If everyone believed this, then why is it appropriate to show manners and be polite? Why is it expected for people to say thank you or to say excuse me? These are all displays of respect for others. It is a mutual respect, meaning that both parties are respectful of one another. It does not mean that one person must belittle themselves until another deems them worthy of respect.
It is selfish to think that peers and even strangers don’t deserve your respect during a first, second, or third encounter. It is even more selfish to think that they must work toward earning your respect first. When will they have gained it? After a polite hello or will it take more than that?
It is common to see elders implement this kind of thinking. A teacher may not have mutual respect for their student just like how a grandparent may demand respect from their grandchild. Yes, you must respect your elders, but, no matter the age, respect should be universal. Respect does not and should not discriminate. We are all people and, if nothing wrong has been done, then why revert to disrespect?
As a young dance teacher, I have experienced times where I was disrespected by the parents of my students. Because of my age, they believed that I did not deserve the same respect as others, so they didn’t show me any. Despite the disrespect that I was met with, I always showed them respect and, after they realized that my age was not a factor in my job, they had no choice but to respect me back. Because of their initial disrespect, I could have easily implemented the give respect to get respect mentality, but I didn’t. Instead, I tried to be mature and never disrespected anybody. I simply gave respect. Eventually, that’s what I got. Respect.
So, yes, this phrase is true. Respect must be given to be received, but it is not meant to be used against others. It is meant to be reflected on yourself. You have to give respect in order to get respect. With that mentality everyone can gain respect and there will no longer be a vicious cycle of disrespect toward one another. Mutual respect can then be universal.
Additionally, I think that it is absolutely possible to lose someone’s respect. That’s what happens when you show disrespect or just display a not so attractive side of your personality. So, if you can lose respect, then it is possible to earn back a person’s respect; however, simply earning someone’s respect in the first place shouldn’t happen. No one should be stripped of respect at first glance. Everyone deserves respect until they have proven why they should lose it. So remember to give respect before you start demanding it from others. It will make all the difference.