One of the most important words in any language is "respect". This is the ability to take care of yourself in a way that shows that you believe that you have some worth, that you matter in this world and that you deserve to be taken care of. It also means that you will take care of your body and of yourself and not allow people to make you do something you don’t want to do, or do something that would make you feel less than what you are worth.

Every person is unique and deserves respect. In your daily life, it is sometimes difficult to see where respect fits in. Please remember that you have to act in a way that people will respect you. Nowadays, respect is earned, not just given, so you have to be aware of how you come across and of how you behave. This will help you to receive respect in return.

Let’s hear how some of the gang sees respect:


I think respect is usually a two-way-street. If I want to be respected, I have to respect other people too. I can’t expect people to respect me if I treat them in a horrible and unkind way. I simply treat people the way I would like to be treated! I want people to care for me, listen to me, try and understand my opinions and just be plain nice to me, so that is what I try to do with other people. Up until now it has worked for me!


I really don’t understand respect much. There is almost no respect in my house. People shouting and screaming and beating each other is definitely not respect. I think I understand what respect is not. It's hard when people at home do not have respect, you tend to grow up thinking that it is just how people act in general. When I hit people at school, everyone tells me I am wrong and gets angry with me and I don’t really have friends left, which makes me even angrier. No one taught me how to treat people with respect and yet they expect me to get it right.

I am trying to get control of my anger because it often prevents me from listening to others and trying to understand them, yet I want people to do that for me. So I know I have to try. I really do struggle with this concept.  It makes relationships really hard. However, I do know though that I do not want to be like my dad, who makes people scared of him.

I try to take a breath before I react nowadays. Previously I would first hit and then ask questions later. Now I try to figure out stuff in my head, before I do something. It helps me to take a deep breath, sometimes to ask the person what they actually meant and only then to react. I often misunderstand people and just assume that they are mean or disrespectful when they are actually not. I have asked my teacher and friends to help me with this, to help stop me before I fly off the handle. It is going a bit better, practice makes perfect I think.

I do want to have friends, so I am trying to treat people with more respect and they seem to like me a bit more now. They even treat me differently from before, especially my teacher. She is really trying to help me now. I don’t feel like the black sheep in the class anymore. This respect thing is very handy. Treat people in a way you want to be treated and usually they do it back. I am getting this slowly but surely.


Percy seems to understand respect well, there is probably respect in his house between his parents, so he should understand this more quickly than Mark. I have to admit Mark is a very good example of how respect in relationships work. It does not mean he is not allowed to be angry if he is beaten at home, but he is trying to see that it is not everybody else’s fault and not everyone is like that. The more respect he shows, the more respect he will be given.

Both boys have come to the conclusion that if you treat people the way you like to be treated, a good result seems to occur.

I feel proud that Mark has figured out a way to be helped, especially at school. It is so important to ask for help when we struggle with something. Mark has done this and is definitely seeing good results.

Be open, ask for help, show respect and feel how good it feels when people treat you with respect in return.