2018-02-09 / Education

Mutual Respect

By Hanah Watts, local high school student

Hanah Watts Hanah Watts Yelling. Arguing. Red Faces.

You cannot escape it. When you turn on the news, you often encounter two people on opposite sides of the screens, arguing with each other, trying to convince the other their personal ideas are the correct ones, often not even bothering to listen to what the other person has to say.

You think you might be able to escape it, but then you go to school (in my case) or work and realize you are also surrounded by it practically everywhere.

No matter where you go, people will always be arguing and debating on some topic or another; this is just a fact of life. However, debating topics is not a bad thing, but the sportsmanship, rather lack of, can become a huge problem.

Someone recently enlightened me about her great concern the human race just does not listen to each other anymore. This really got me thinking. Personally, I believe the issue stems from the idea so many people seem to have forgotten, mutual respect. Plain and simple!

For instance, I believe dogs are better than cats. I can 100 percent guarantee you my stance will never be swayed. I am a dog person through and through.

But, let’s say I have a friend who wholly believes cats are better than dogs. Just because I am not a cat person, and we have two different ideologies, does not mean we cannot be friends, respect each other’s opinions, and get along with each other. And, we may even debate every now and then over which is better based on our personal opinions.

I will definitely argue to the death dogs are the best (For starters, they love you back, and they will play with you instead of sleeping all day, and they are cute…).

However, I should still be able to listen to my friend’s opinions and recognize them as valid instead of flippantly ignoring them. Even though our views differ, we should still be able to respect each others opinions.

That is such a simplified example, but it really speaks the truth. In life, to get things accomplished, mutual respect must be the key…no matter what the topic happens to be. And, it is not a one-sided deal; everyone involved must be on board. If people are not willing to change their opinions, then a compromise must be reached, and that is extremely difficult to do if everyone has only their own interests at heart.

Also, if we would just stop to listen to the other side’s views, we might just learn something we didn’t know, even if we don’t agree.

It is extremely clich√©, but kindness really is a force that makes the world go around. This cannot be accomplished if we do not learn to “agree to disagree.”

No, I am not proposing a deluded fantasy where everyone is holding hands and singing Kumbaya, but I am suggesting we all try a little harder to remember the phrase “Mutual Respect” and practice it on a daily basis.

“I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you” - Anthony Bourdain

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