www.whyville.net Nov 14, 2010 Weekly Issue

Times Writer

Treat Others With Respect

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Ever since I was young, I've always been taught to treat other people with respect. Adults in my life have told me that I need to be nice to everyone. I've always believed this and tried my best to follow this rule, but sometimes it gets hard. When other people aren't following the motto "Do the right thing and treat people right," it is a lot harder for me to follow it too.

Sometimes it feels like I am the only one trying to live like this. I see bullying everywhere - on Whyville and in the world around me. Deep down I know that it isn't right, but from past experience it is hard for me to stand up for myself and others without being a bully too.

Three years ago, my brother and I were at a high-school football game. We were minding our own business, when a boy just about my brother's age came up to him and starting insulting him. Outraged, I yelled at the kid and told him to never say something like that to my brother ever again. Needless to say, the kid ran off. Though I thought what I did was appropriate, my brother didn't feel the same way.

"Why'd you do that?" He asked, clearly upset by the fact I stood up for him.

"That kid was being mean to you and I'm not okay with that." I replied. I was confused that my brother didn't seem to want my help scaring off the bully. Now I realize that he was probably embarrassed his sister needed to pick on the kid for him.

Though what I did made me feel at that point in time like a good big sister, it now doesn't seem all that helpful. All I was doing was stooping down to the bully's level of action by fighting back. There was no need to be as harsh as I was with the kid (who was probably about 9.) Not everyone learns at a young age what was drilled into my mind. (Treat everyone with respect.) That little boy might not have ever been taught to be kind to everyone, and all I did by fighting back was teach him to act even more vicious.

I wish I could go back in time and instead of yelling at the kid, explain to him that it isn't nice to insult others, pick fights, or disrespect fellow human beings. I wish I could ask him for an apology rather than asking him to, "Never mess with my brother again unless he wanted a face full of fist." (Charming, wasn't I.)

We should try to treat others the way we'd like to be treated. It's simple to fight back when someone is being mean, but that isn't what helps or solves a conflict. That only makes it worse. Instead, we should try to reason with people and try to figure out why they are acting like that. Though some people truly are vicious and troublesome, many people are just upset about other things and take it out on people. If we aren't willing to take a stand and be the better person in a conflict, how can we have any hope that a problem can correctly be solved? I deeply feel that respecting other people is necessary in building relationships, and I'd hope that all of you will understand how important kindness truly is too.


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