Observing Disrespect: An Awakening Moment

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At Amery High School we have many speakers come and talk to the student body. What most people do not understand is that the speaker is trying to tell us something important to them. Most students do not understand this and end up being very disrespectful.


Last Wednesday was Veteran’s Day. I am in band and we always play at this event. During the presentation we face the student body. There was a speaker there who was talking about the veterans of the United States and why Veteran’s Day is important to him. During the speech, I looked up at the student body and was disgusted. Most of my fellow classmates were talking, laughing, and some were even hitting each other while this man was giving his speech. I was so taken back by this because it was the first time I really thought about what they were doing up in the bleachers. When you’re facing the crowd you see a whole different side of the speech, and a whole different side of your classmates.


When all of these distractions are going on, I wonder how the speaker feels. Here is this man who put his heart and soul into writing this speech. When he looks up, he sees people on their cell phones, people talking, and people who could care less about him or Veteran’s Day. If I were that speaker I would be disappointed that I chose Amery High School to give a speech at. I would also look down upon the students at Amery.



I am happy to say that there were some students who actually were listening and caring about what this man was saying. The teachers were respecting this man very well. You could tell that they were much more mature and respectful than most of the students.


One of the worst things about this situation is that I was looking at a reflection of myself. This almost brought me to tears, never before had I realized how disrespectful I was being. I would talk to my friends in the auditorium or the bleachers during all of the past speeches. Thinking to myself, “What does any of this have to do with me? Why should I care about what he’s saying?” I now know the answers to these questions. They have a reason for being at our school. It might not affect us now, but in the future it most likely will. I should always care about what the people are talking about.


I do not owe it to myself, but to the speaker to give my best attention. Some speakers are not always the most exciting, but from now on I will pay attention. When the speakers look up at the audience and see the kids on their phones, talking, and laughing, they will not see me doing that. They will see me paying attention to them, because that is what they deserve.





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