World Respect Life Day - Head Girl Address

Last Updated: Sunday, 24 January 2016 Published: Sunday, 24 January 2016 Written by Marie-Ange Emanuel

The typical route when addressing the issue of respecting life is one which discusses perhaps murder, terrorism or abortion.  The media and the slightest compassion that human nature provides, do not allow us to forget the many victims of these examples of disrespect for life.  While I am asking you to be mindful of these and their dreadful effects, I wish to draw your attention to two simple ways we can respect life.  These include acknowledging that each person has a unique purpose, and vowing not to speak words of destruction.

To begin with, life can be compared to an ecosystem in which each equally important component has a niche.  Respect is acknowledging that your friend, the person standing next to you, even your enemy has a niche worth appreciating.  While I might be able to play the violin, you may not be able to read a bar of music.  You should respect that this is what I can do while I should respect that you are maybe a spectacular netballer.  Difference of talents or God-granted purposes is no ground for fierce criticism.  Although sad, this is the reality all around the world where persons refuse to understand and further respect others from other cultures and religions because of the differences they possess.  I tell you my friends, that much of the worldwide fighting can be attributed to this and no nation, not even ours, is immune to it.  

Additionally, many would not consider intentionally speaking destructively to or about someone as disrespect.  It is clear that this view is widely shared because looking around, so many gossip about or verbally bully others.  I invite you to walk around our very school at break time.  I promise you you will find cliques all around the premises, and listen closely, many will be spreading rumours about a common enemy.  If bullying is not an ideal example of disrespect, I do not know what is.  By bullying you are saying that you do not have enough respect for someone to be bothered if he/she carries on with life the same way after your hurtful words.  Respect is about being cordial despite differences, it is never about resorting to bullying.

In conclusion, fatally shooting someone, claiming to be an ISIS terrorist online or aborting an unborn child are not the only ways we can disrespect life.  We can respect others by realizing their purposes in life and refraining from uttering negative words to them.  If due to this assembly you have realized that in some way you are not respecting life, I ask that you reflect and make a change today.

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