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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Mutual respect should bridge generational gaps

Veronica De La Cruz

Respect should not be defined by how much life experience a young adult has. It should be something that everyone is entitled to, unless their actions prove that they don’t deserve it.

Transitioning into adulthood is difficult for most college students, but respect is something that everyone expects as an adult. How can one justify the voice of a 40-year-old being more important than that of a 20-year-old?

It’s difficult. I think that respect is defined by someone treating another individual in an appropriate way.

Respect until it’s unearned

Most believe that respect is something that should be earned, because it shouldn’t just be handed to others. However, I believe that everyone deserves to be shown respect, regardless of who they are.

Illustration by Robert Donovan.

Starting with a baseline of respect for everyone is key.

With that said, there’s a significant difference between showing respect and actually giving respect to an individual.

I’ve been raised to show respect to anyone I encounter in life, unless they give me a reason to do otherwise.

Be someone that deserves respect

Chico State students in particular have a difficult time getting the respect they deserve because of the school’s reputation as a “party school.”

The level of respect some elders have for students tends to change when they become aware of what some young adults do in their free time.

This is why it’s important to remember that if someone wants respect, they must respect themselves first.

Weekend keg stand photos on social media might earn respect from peers, but expect the opposite from others.

Life experience doesn’t entitle one to more respect

I’ve encountered numerous arguments with my mother about how I thought I knew everything by the age of 15. It was a constant battle over me thinking that no one really understood or respected me because of my age.

Many adolescents fall into the trap of thinking that they are not being respected if someone doesn’t agree with them.

Age shouldn’t define the level of respect one receives. That’s not to say older people don’t deserve respect, but they shouldn’t instantly get more than anyone else.

Letting age define the level of respect someone has for another is another from of discrimination. Someone is not automatically right just because they have a certain quality, such as race or gender.

When it comes to respect, older people should remember that they were young once too — I’m sure they know exactly what it feels like to not be heard.

Veronica De La Cruz could be reached at [email protected] or @Veronica_dlc on Twitter.


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