How many of you have ever been interrupted while telling a story you were excited to tell? Or maybe discriminated against for whatever reason? Or even, let’s go way back, picked last on the playground? I can safely bet every person has felt disrespected at least twice in his or her lifetime, and we’re not even truly into the “real world” yet.
Remember how you felt in those moments; keep that memory with you forever. Keep that embarrassing, betrayed and humiliating memory of those emotions with you because that disrespect is what will lead you to become a better person.
It is a proven fact that if you are nice to people, you feel better about yourself. I could also safely bet that everyone wants to feel some sort of confidence. That’s why we’re here at Ohio University, right? To make something of ourselves, to prove to someone or something — or even yourself — that you are worth all of this hard work.
Respect can go a long way. No matter who you are, there is someone you will always respect. Maybe an idol, a parent, a friend or even a spiritual figure — someone you admire. Along with keeping those memories of disrespect, hold tight those memories of when someone did respect you. That one day a stranger or friend complimented you, or the time a teacher or professor treated you like you were intelligent and capable.
Those memories should be kept too, because they remind you of how powerful a sentence can be. In that moment, you felt worthy and proud to be who you are. Why not make others feel the same?
A well-known genius once said, “I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.” Looks like Albert Einstein had the right idea.
It’s not hard to be a good person (unless we’re talking about right versus wrong; now that can get messy), but respect is so simple. It is even a win-win situation; you show respect for someone and in return you become well liked and appreciate yourself more. Of course, respect is not given out of selfish desires.
Although I bet if you were giving respect out of selfish reasons, the power of seeing someone smile because of you will change those selfish reasons into honest actions. That’s the magic of being a good person.
Today as you are walking or driving across campus, remember those bittersweet memories, but also respect someone today. Go out of your way to hold the door open for someone instead of just pushing it open an inch further as you walk through. Remember to say “thank you” and “you’re welcome” because those words show an incredible display of respect.
Even a small gesture, like giving an honest and thoughtful compliment to someone who looks like they have had a rough day can create a cherished memory for them. Take note of the effect it has on people. Ladies, this will make you a successful and independent person. Gentlemen, this will make those successful and independent ladies fall in love with you. I know our school has pride — I’ve heard it at our Saturday football games — so let’s take some pride in being a good person.
Respect goes a long way. After all, you still remember those good and bad memories from years ago, don’t you?
Meagan Dixon is a freshman studying journalism and a columnist for The Post. How have you shown respect today? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.