Respect for All

Hannah Morais

January, the Sanctity of Life month, has just ended, and with it, the virtual March for Life and numerous other Pro-Life rallies. However, this does not mean that the respect for every life, no matter how small, should end as well. The Catholic Church teaches that all humans have a right to live, from the moment of conception to natural death. If you have taught at or attended Catholic schools for several years, then you have heard the above phrase every year when January rolls around and you probably have it memorized by now, but it truly embodies the values that we are called to demonstrate. And it does not just mean disagreeing with abortion or euthanasia. It is respecting ALL people, regardless of their beliefs, likes, preferences, and values. That being said, “respect” does not mean “agree with.” One can have respect for someone without necessarily agreeing with them because everyone thinks differently; no two people are the same. If nobody had respect for anybody, relationships would be fake and short-lasting, there would be much more violence, and the world would decline into chaos. Based on the direction our world has been going in the last couple of years, many of these things seem to be coming true. All we need is authentic respect for every human person – not agreement, not an “I-would-give-up-my-life-for-this-cause” commitment, just plain respect. This kind of respect is hard to come by, but we as Christians are called to this standard. A true Christian does not follow, they lead. So, do we lead with an example of respect and love… or do we blindly follow whatever the next person is doing? Do we respect life and all those around us… or do we respect some but not all? Asking ourselves these questions can help us reach the fullness of respect when it comes to the lives of the unborn, the elderly, and all those in between.

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