In light of all that has happened in the past week, I want to share with y'all my favorite Lasallian Core Principle: Respect for all persons. It is my favorite because when you think about it, you can't really have an inclusive community, or a concern for the poor and social justice, or a quality education if you don't respect those around you.
Every single student that is on this campus is there for a reason and deserves your respect. I don't care if they believe the exact opposite of what I believe, or if they look different than I do, I am going to give them my respect. This is very hard if people keep giving you a reason not to respect them and I certainly have different levels of respect for different people. But even though someone may irk me to the very core, they are still people and so I treat them as such (although I definitely have a lot of room to grow).
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university." -Albert Einstein
Einstein knows what's up. People are people no matter what they do, or what they have and you need to take that into account in everything that you do. Your words matter, whether they are coming out of your face in class or if you are typing it up on YikYak they still have the power to encourage or to hurt.
It doesn't matter whether or not you like someone, what matters is how you treat that someone. The core principle is respect for all persons, not respect for my friends and those the people that agree with me. That sort of respect is easy, it might even come naturally to you. Respect for all persons takes a lot of guts, but I believe that you can do it.
Respect for all persons also means that you gotta respect yourself too. You are just as valid as everyone else around you. You are important, and you should respect yourself just as much as those around you.
We all know the "golden rule" of Treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself. Well, first you have to treat yourself right. If you have hate towards yourself then perhaps that hate spreads to those around you without you really noticing. It's like in middle school where you are like "Ugh, I'm the worst so I am going to treat people like the worst so I feel better about my insecurities." You're going through
In college, we are going through a lot of changes too but now we have the mental capacity to know when we are being the absolute worst––I would hope. Respect for all persons take a lot of time, and a lot of effort but I believe that if we all just tried to respect all those around us, our great community will become even better.
I hope that you can give all people a little bit of your respect. Just a little bit.