Taimour Ahmed: “Respect”


by Taimour Ahmed


I believe in respect. When I meet with someone new, the first thing I do is see if they show some respect to me. There are many indicators to respect, such as the person’s handshake, listening abilities, and their response to your views on different topics. People come from many walks of life, but the aspect of respect is a basic human social feature that will never change. For example, when I was meeting for a job interview at a laundromat, I see if the hiring manager shows a modicum of respect, I appreciate it.

There’s a multitude of reasons why I believe in respect. I grew up rough in the ‘hood.’ My days as a child were filled with playing basketball for hours on end with the other kids in the neighborhood, and we had a carefree existence, as we’d also get into fights and encounters with other kids. We were all just kids after all. There were also older kids and adults that I’d had to show respect at the neighborhood court.

Eventually as everyone grew older, a level of respect was held because of the nature of where I grew up in. I had been disrespected and made fun of at times, losing respect. Eventually though I’d fire back, gaining respect back in turn. If someone doesn’t show any respect to someone, they’d get reprimanded.

a black and white photo of a man holding up a sign that says RESPECT
Photo by Flickr user Lorie Shaull. Used under CC license.

As I grew up, I believed that respect was a paramount existence. Knowing a lot of people is also up to respect, as if you respect them, they’d respect you back. A common way for example, is through a simple handshake. Many people are self-centered however, and fail to show respect to the people around us. Another way I learned about respect was when I played on a basketball team.

There was definitely a team hierarchy between the leaders of the team, as well as between the best and the worst players, as well as the people who’d just joined, and the veterans of the squad. I was on the side of the better players, but when I first joined it wasn’t that way. I didn’t have much respect, so what I did is earn my respect back through gaining better physical and technical abilities at the sport through intense practice.

Over time, when I started to show my work rate on the court and my work started paying off, the other players started showing respect to my work ethic. There was also respect shown to me from how long I had been on the team, as I was directed to show the ‘new guys’ around and make sure our team was running smoothly on the court. Nowadays I’ve quit basketball because of other reasons, but the lessons of respect between teammates continues to resonate within me to this day.

How you show respect really shows who you are. I treat the people I find to be worth respected, with respect. They deserve to be treated that way, and I’ll treat them back the same way. A very simple notion. To this I believe.


(Read all the pieces in This I Believe; featured image by Flickr user wiredforlego; used under CC license)

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