Give by Abby Brand, Student Council Member
Hi everyone! I am Abby Brand, and I am up here today, during code of conduct week, to talk about the R in HRI–respect. When I was told I would be giving this speech, I had no idea what I would talk about. I mean, I consider myself a fairly respectful person. I try not to talk while my teachers are talking; I wait my turn in line; and I throw away my trash. I do all of these things that I know are signs of respect, but why do I do them? Is it just because I am told to do so? Is it really just that matter of fact?
So, in order to better understand the WHY, I tried to imagine life without respect here in our community. And this is how I pictured the day playing out. First, I would park in Mr. Baad’s parking spot in the main lot because wow, that would be such an easier walk for ME. Then, I would show up ten minutes late and interrupt my first period class, distracting my peers and my teacher, but you know I just really HAD to get my snack from the eagles nest and finish up my conversation with my friend. Next, I would go to chapel and sleep through it because I’m tired and can’t focus on what the speaker is saying. And… well I am going to stop here because, honestly, it’s uncomfortable imagining this day of disrespect, and while writing this, it became clear what respect is all about and why it is so important to our community.
The common trend throughout this hypothetical day is selfishness. I was only thinking about myself and what would be the most convenient for me. The issue is that, in our community, the only way we will be successful is if we are selfless. We must realize that others have important issues as well, maybe even ones that outweigh our own. So to simply think about being kind and aware of your surroundings will go a long way in strengthening our community, and to reach our full potential we must love each other by being there for a classmate when he or she is down. We must build each other up, and to do so, we must show respect. To be a great leader, you must listen to and respect the opinions and ideas of your peers, and be respected in return. To be a great athlete, you must respect the moves your teammate makes and the way they play, and be respected in return. To be a great student, you must respect your teacher’s hard work and passion for the subject, and be respected in return. And finally, to be a member of a community, you must reciprocate respect because all of us have different opinions and ways of living, but none of us are wrong.
Respect is a cycle; if you wanted to be treated with it, you must give it to everyone else as well.
The key part of this virtue is knowing your place and who you are. For many of us this may be a member of a sports team, club, or fine art. But for all of us, who we are… are the students of ESD. We sign the code of conduct every year to say that we know, understand, and pledge to live our academic careers with honor, respect, and integrity.
So let me tell y’all how a respectful day at ESD looks, what each of us should strive to have and see everyday. First, we come to school and park in the spots that Mr. Laba tells us to, because the purpose of parking in the lot is for our safety. Then, we go to class on time, listen to our hardworking teachers, and learn, because we recognize the sacrifices our parents have made to allow us to be educated in this facility. Next, we go to daily worship, and we tune in and value this space because we know how special and important this time is for many people and how much effort Vestry and Reverend Heller put into lessons that inspire us. And, of course, we keep our campus clean as a sign of appreciation for our facilities staff, who do not get enough credit for dealing with the mess we make. But, most importantly, we respect each other and ourselves because we are the members of this wonderful community. Our honor code says we treat people with respect, and that it is part of our Episcopal School of Dallas identity. So I hope as we sign this week, we remember what we are agreeing to: mutual respect.