The effect of respect

    Royce shares a lesson about respecting others and its relevance to the social aspect of extracurricular activities

    More stories from Royce Ingram

    A Special Week
    December 10, 2014

    This summer I was convinced that senior year was going to be a pointless waste of time. I should have graduated early. I had over a semester’s worth of college credit at Truman State University. I should have skipped senior year and left for college to finish that accounting degree I so wanted to get.

    To look back now, it shocks me how wrong I was to think that. It is true, I honestly am not learning as much academic material this senior year, but fate has it that I have learned so many other things.

    I’m learning time management and how to live on four hours of sleep a night. I have learned to polish shoes and live my life with my own goals and priorities rather than those of my contemporaries and guardians. Yet, the most significant lessons I have learned this year, are the ones I have learned about people.

    My whole high school experience I’ve focused on spending most of my time with people like myself. People who are focused on school work and are of solid work ethic. An enjoyable, high achieving bunch who walk a path similar to my own.

    Although it is good to have close friends of similar characteristics and values, too much isolation can have negative consequences.

    In surrounding myself with high achieving persons, I began to find my identity in achievement and take pride in it. I would look down on others for not achieving a level of academic or extracurricular success similar to my own. I would wonder why others were so lazy and valued the wrong things.

    But this mindset is poisonous.

    Not only did I struggle to be genuinely friendly to others, I began to look down on my friends if they did not surpass me in their studies. My critical mind set a high standard too high for anyone, myself included, to reach. Interestingly enough, I only judged others for their failure to meet this standard-I did not judge myself. And it is not an enjoyable way to live. It makes one’s self a hypocrite and a jerk to his friends.

    But this year, I took Marketing I and Foods class.

    There I have met some kids who prioritized work outside academics, lacked motivation for homework, or simply lacked the ability to engage in opportunities. Through them, I am reminded that each one of my classmates has potential and value in their own individual ways. That this worth their existence holds by default of their conception is due a humane respect. Their decisions and priorities may not align with my own and may not deserve any respect, but as far as people themselves go, they each are worth of some common level of respect due to their existence.

    What does this have to do with extracurricular activities and getting involved?

    Essentially, this specific connection between extracurricular activities and the lessons about people that I have discovered my senior year is: to not be haughty about your accomplishments, or consider others worth less than you are because their results are not as high as yours. This will result in discontentment within one’s self and between friends in addition to lessening the likelihood that others will join or follow your endeavors.

    Questions, Concerns, Cauliflower: [email protected]