By ReggieR

Malcolm X once said, “Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.” I like this quote because it connects to me on a personal level. This means to me that if you show respect to others, you will also be respected and have a life to live. I believe if you respect others, you will get respect back for respecting them.

When I was thirteen, I was with my friends Juan and Greg. We were going to the park to play basketball because we wanted to go outside for a while. On the way to the basketball court, we met a homeless man on the street.  When he asked us for change, Greg started making fun of him because he was old and dirty. Greg said really mean things to the man, which made the man very sad and depressed, Juan and I told Greg to stop, and said “What if you were homeless, or in his shoes and we were making fun of you”? Then Greg got mad and went home.  After he left, we gave the homeless man two dollars.  He told us, “Something good was going to happen to you two”.  As we left the homeless man, a lady came up to us and said, “I saw what you two did for that man. That was very nice, and very great how you two stood up for that homeless man, and did not be like your friend. That was phenomenal.”  She gave us forty dollars for our good behavior.

Before this event, I would have done the same thing as Greg and made fun of the homeless man because I thought it would have been really cool.  But at that moment, I realized that I can do me, and not be like other people.  Since that happened, I realized that we did the right thing by correcting our friend and helping the homeless man.  Lastly, we were respected and rewarded for our actions.

Everybody wants to be respected, and the key to that is to show respect to everybody, it does not matter if it’s a homeless man, mom, dad, sister, brother, grandmother, grandfather, police, the dog, or the mailman.  But most of all, show respect to yourself.  I believe that if everyone shows respect to themselves and others, the world would be a safer and a better place to live.  I am Reggie, and I believe this.

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