It is something everyone wants, not many have, and few want to give. Most people would appreciate "just a little bit," and most should give just that. Unfortunately, a lot of the time, this does not happen. Perhaps this is because the concept of respect is not understood. What exactly is respect? The dictionary defines it as an act of giving high or special regard to someone or something. This does not explain what it is; it only outlines what it may be. In general, though, respect can be broken down into three main forms.

The first is the respect of others. "Others" includes your peers, teachers, parents, and everyone else. It is adding a ma’am or sir to the end of a sentence. It is obeying in class and not being rowdy in the hallway. It is the respect of their ideas and what they stand for. It is what brings people together, and if not used, it is what can tear people apart.

The second form of respect is the respect of property. This includes anything from writing on a desk at school to stealing from a department store. Property, whether it is the school’s, a company’s, a stranger’s, or a friends, should always be respected. Respect means taking that extra few seconds to drive the speed limit so as not to hit anyone or anything. It means not smashing a pumpkin at Halloween just for fun. It means not throwing that piece of trash on the ground. That is respect.

Lastly, one must respect themselves. This respect is holding your head high and respecting your own opinions. Its acknowledging that you have ideas and then sharing them because you are not afraid of what others may think. It is not letting peer pressure and other things effect the way you think or want to think. Respect for yourself is the most important of all because without it, you would have no respect for others.

Now that you know a brief, but clearer, explanation, of respect, practice it. Practice at school, at home, and outside in public. Say thank you, please, and you’re welcome. Clear your dishes, don’t beat up your little brother, and try not to block the hallway. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and opinions. Respect other people, their property, and above all, respect yourself.