Respect is subjective, in that a person pays respect in order to earn respect. Do unto others as they would do unto you. A golden rule, for sure.
Much respect is given to those individuals who invest their time and efforts for the betterment of their community. Service to the community is a lifelong passion for many people, including me. Service comes in various forms and time frames. For some, it means involvement in civic groups through acting as an advocate for people in your community, and for others it may involve local politics. I choose to spend my energies doing both.
I give respect to anyone who seeks to serve in any fashion in the political arena, whether as a Democrat, Republican, or Independent. However, I do not believe that parties define the person. I believe that people should be judged in politics according to their personal beliefs and goals for the people they are seeking to be elected by, regardless of the party the candidate belongs to. Personally, in reference to politics, label me as “Middle of the Road.” It is not the party’s goals that should be sought by elected officials; no, it should be the will of the people they represent. Politicians should give respect to the people they represent and equally that respect will be returned.
In reference to community service: I, like many others, have offered my time and efforts to support our community. I have worked to offer mentoring to young people through programs that teach them teamwork and responsibility. I continually work to ensure our youth follow a positive direction for their lives.
Additionally, I have acted as an advocate and supporter of people with disabilities. During my time as an Employment Services Specialist, I was driven to attain employment opportunities for people with great barriers. I helped employers see the benefits and ability of the individual, as well as his or her value to the hiring organization despite the disability.
Currently, as Director of Activities within the Downtown Senior Center, I labor daily to improve quality of life for seniors through creating social events, informational sessions about health and resources, planning trips, and continually developing our services to the senior community as a whole.
With all of these things, I felt honored to be a part of them. I did not do them to earn respect. I did them to the best of my ability because I respected the people that I served. The result was a reciprocation of respect and a better life for all of us.