Respect | Teen Ink


March 23, 2023
By WillaTalbot SILVER, Apex, North Carolina
WillaTalbot SILVER, Apex, North Carolina
9 articles 1 photo 0 comments

                                                               End. The. Chain.


The greatest act of service you can complete for someone else is basic human respect. We as humans are quick to demonize people we don’t like and deify those that we do like. This can be a result of early tribalism that later morphed into the forms of prejudice that we as a modern society are acquainted with, which can include but are not limited to, racism, antisemitism, xenophobia, and islamophobia. It may daunt some people to acknowledge that this hatred exists in our progressive world, but it is still important to acknowledge their existence nonetheless. 

Now most people may think they already treat people with basic respect, but many small things we do on a daily basis goes to the contrary. What about those times when you laughed at a girl because of what hobbies she enjoyed, or the times when you mocked someone because they were struggling with something you found easy. These may seem small in comparison to the lack of human rights minorities have received in the past such as, being barred from schools, lack of job opportunities, and rejection from purchasing a house in certain neighborhoods. I know many people would like to delete this chapter of our history because it is uncomfortable to reckon with, but what about all those children and grandchildren of those who have suffered the cost of a lack of basic respect. What are we supposed to do when our culture and language have been erased and stripped away from us because of human decadence? My people’s empires and civilizations have become all but a defunct diaspora, because of a lack of basic human respect. My ancestors were forced out of their country, because of a lack of basic human respect. My dad was barred from his elementary school, because of a lack of basic human respect. I had to learn about my culture from google, because of a lack of basic human respect. 

It only takes one person being hateful, one person dawdling to defend those who are oppressed, one person being hate crimed, to create a near unbreakable chain of generational trauma. To say I was declaiming and being “dramatic” about what my family has gone through would be a cynical notion. Everyone is capable of being hateful, so choose respect, for the next generation’s sake.




The author's comments:

Historical discrimination has always been a touchy subject around the world, but to accept the existence of our past wrongdoings, means we can move forward as a society towards a better future for the new generations.

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