music in the park san jose

After seeing a recent news story regarding the fights at Hollister High School, I started thinking about something you hear a lot of people say today, and I am sure my parents used to say about us and their parents said about them: “These young people today have no respect”. 

I thought a lot about that statement, and one thought kept coming to mind: what is respect? You could look it up in the dictionary but that is only the denotation of the word. I prefer the connotation. 

What pops into your mind when you think of respect? First I think of honesty; if I respect someone I believe them to be honest—not only honest in what they say, but honest to who they are and what they believe. On the streets you might say they “walk the walk.” 

I also think of someone who is gifted, and I mean that literally. They have a talent or ability that sets them apart. Respect also implies admiration. It’s someone that I am genuinely fond of; something about the person makes you want to be around them. 

It also to me implies that they are dedicated or hard working, they take things seriously. 

Lastly it implies to me someone that I would make a sacrifice for, I might be willing to risk my safety or, in an extreme case, my life for. 

So how can we get people to respect one another? First of all, we must get past the myth of “Give me some respect.” In my opinion respect can not be given, it must be earned. I might show someone respect, but only if I actually respect them. You might give someone courtesy; you might give someone sympathy, or empathy, or you might give someone admiration. But someone must earn your respect. 

To me at the core of respect is “self respect.” If you do not like or trust yourself, if you are not honest with yourself, if you don’t think of yourself as talented, gifted or unique you will not have self respect, and if you don’t have self respect I don’t think others can earn your respect. I think there is an appalling lack of self respect amongst not only our young people, but amongst people in general. 

So how do we change this? To me the key begins with building real self esteem and self worth amongst people, beginning with our kids. This notion that “I breathe therefore I am great” has to end. We need to help kids find their gifts and talents and abilities and help nurture those things. 

We need to allow them to fail and survive. We need to help them take risks. We need to let them experience real life, not virtual life. In real life there is pain and heartache; there is also joy, and happiness. There is struggle and achievement; there is also failure. No matter how fast you are there is always somewhere faster, but life still goes on. 

In real life not everyone gets a trophy or a medal, but each person was created by God with unique talents, gifts and abilities, with an individual personality—with a “style.” When we as a society truly begin to embrace that, and then help kids reach their potential and reward them for true achievement they will begin to respect themselves, and then others can earn their respect, and the world will be a much better place. 

Randy Logue

Hollister

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