Recently, I had a conversation back and forth with a college student regarding “respect” and how it is earned, not an entitlement. This occurred on social media last night after someone anonymously posted on a college confessions page that the Democratic Party should at least treat Republicans with respect and not riot just because they don’t agree with them politically. The conversation continued a few times today and that was the end of it. Regardless of what your political leanings are, everyone should be able to agree to disagree politely and move on. However, the student I associated with didn’t agree with anything at all and told me two things: 1.) My “privilege” is showing and 2.) I am misinterpreting what he is saying regarding “respect.”
The questions in my head now are, “Are college students that really afraid of the truth? If so, why?” What is scary about the truth, other than it can sting you in the gut sometimes? People need honesty in order to go far in life. This is a competitive and heartless world. In order to survive, we must be able to take criticism on the chin and in order to get respect, we must show it first. Of course, in reality, not everyone is going to respect you for the choices you made or the lifestyle you chose to live, but you can disagree with them and move on. When someone is infringing upon your right to speak freely about a certain issue you disagree with, you have every right to respond back. What makes this country great is that we have the Freedom of Speech, located in the Constitution. Respect is not handed down to you on a silver spoon, you have to earn it.