Respect-Ya Gotta Give It To Get It

RESPECT. Small word, big meaning. Its the classic Golden Rule-Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. So lets break it down.

Respect For Yourself: Are you treating yourself the way you should be? Do you love yourself and value “you”? Do you let others take advantage of your kindness? Do you do things that are against your morals and values? If you find yourself answering yes, then chances are you are not respecting yourself. Time and time again I have heard people say that they respect someone who respects themselves. This may mean revamping your attitude. Take an inventory of you. Write down all the wonderful things about yourself, things that you value, and what you believe in. Now, I would like you to sign the bottom, and by signing you agree to not negotiate those things. If you listed that you are a good friend, you value your family, and you believe in waiting to have sex until you are married-and you find yourself in a situation that asks you to compromise any of those things you will know that you are respecting yourself by sticking to the list.

Respect for Your Parents and Authority Figures: Sure, your parents and teachers are completely out of the loop on what its like to be a teenager right? They do not have a clue in the world what its like to be you, and you should not have to listen to or respect them.WRONG. Your parents and teachers by default are in authority. There is no way around it. So how do you work with them and not against them? Respect. By respecting them you are showing them that you understand that they have thoughts and opinions that are of value.  It may seem simple and maybe even dumb but I can promise that being respectful will get you extremely far in life.

One last thought: Those who respect themselves, are respected by others. Those who respect others, are respected by themselves.

What does respect look like?


  • Be a good listener. Don’t be rude and interrupt; cutting people off when they are talking makes it seem as if what they are saying isn’t important to you. If what someone is talking about isn’t interesting to you–and the person isn’t an authority figure–find as polite a way as possible to excuse yourself from the conversation.
  • 2

    Be a considerate speaker. Don’t go on and on and on with your thoughts in a conversation without allowing another person to speak.

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    Respect other people’s property. Don’t touch or take things that belong to other people without permission.

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    Be considerate of other people’s time. If you say you are going to be somewhere at a certain time, make every effort to be there.

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    Follow rules. Bending or ignoring rules shows disrespect for whoever established them, as well as for the people who choose to follow them.

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    Don’t gossip or talk about people. This is hurtful and shows a lack of respect for the person you are talking about. In addition, it can also show disrespect for the person you are talking to, because you put them in an uncomfortable position of having to listen to you disrespect someone else.

  • Read more: How to Give Respect |



    -Kate MacHugh, Intern For Driven


    Who You Are Today Is Who You Are Tomorrow and Every Day From Now On

    Who you are today is who you are tomorrow and every day from now on-what an interesting concept. What does this mean? If today you are smart, funny, a good friend, and a kind to others; chances are you will be those things in the future. On the opposite hand, if you are making bad choices, engaging in risky behaviors, and being noncompliant with your parents or other authority figures; yup you guessed it-those traits are going to follow you in to your adult life. The choices you make today hold real consequences for the rest of your life. Committing a crime now could mean that it is on your permanent record for the rest of your life. This is an extreme case of decisions today affecting tomorrow, but you need to be mindful.

    Lets do an exercise:

    Think about what you want to be doing in 10 years. Do you see yourself being a teacher? Maybe a doctor or a lawyer? Or you want to work the pit stop for NASCAR? Think about that dream. What does it take to get there? Now think about if who you are today is helping you reach that dream or keeping you from it. If you want to be a professional athlete you need to keep your lungs healthy and smoking weed is going to hurt that dream. Working with kids requires background checks and if you make a stupid decision now you will not be able to work in that area later. All of your decisions affect tomorrow. So act wisely.

    -Kate MacHugh, Intern For Driven

    It’s my phone, my Facebook, my life-now just get out of it!

    YOUR phone, YOUR Facebook, YOUR life-what gives your parents the right to go check on these things? If you have a parent/guardian who is constantly asking to see your texts, bugging you about who you talk to online, and asking you what is happening in your life-then you are really really lucky. Thats right, lucky. This means that your parents care enough about you and your well-being to make sure that things are okay with you. And chances are, something isn’t going all that right if your parents are asking about your phone and Facebook. We have all encountered times in our lives when we get ourselves in trouble with our phones or something we posted online. And, guess what-your parents can tell. They have known you for so long that the slightest change in you is huge to them. It’s their job as parents to watch over, care for, and nurture you. They check on you because they love you and want you to be safe. If it becomes an issue that does not go away on its own(which it wont) you need to talk to your parents about how it can be fixed. The key here is going to be compromise. If your parents want to see what you do on Facebook ask that they make their own and “friend” you. This can open a new door of communication. As far as checking your cell phone, parents pay the bill. You need to show your parents that you can be trusted with a cell phone and the responsibility that comes with it. If that means showing them your pictures or texts-you gotta do what you gotta do.

    So remember, your parents love you. They care about you immensely, and want the best for you. So give them a break the next time they check on you. You are luckier than you realize.

    -Kate MacHugh, Intern for Driven

    Drama, Drama, Drama.

    “Did you hear about Brianna?” “Well I heard that Rob….” “I cant believe that Megan did….”

    We all get ourselves into drama at one time or another.Avoiding drama can be difficult when gossip and being petty is so prevalent. We walk into church and our friends tell us about something  juicy that happened at the youth group we missed or we let a friend’s secret unintentionally slip at the lunch table. We should aim to stay out of drama but it can be really hard!

    Lets say that you have gotten yourself into drama-yours, someone else’s, everyones.How do you get out alive and with the friends you went in with? First take a deep breath. Whatever it is, is not the end of the world. No matter how big it may seem, it can be fixed if you do the work.

    1. Confront the gossiper

    If YOU are the one gossiping – Apologize to the person you gossiped about. Tell them you understand how it could have hurt them and make a sincere promise to not let it happen again.

    If someone is gossiping about you or a friend – Let them know that you do not appreciate their behavior and no else does either. Being confronted with the fact that people are uninterested will squash the rumor mill.

    2. When you hear the rumor again

    Tell the rumor whisperer that you are uninterested in hearing it, and if you can dispel the rumor.

    3. Don’t Spread Rumors

    Rumors are 100% preventable. Rumors are like fire. Fire needs oxygen to survive and rumors need a mouth to tell them and ear to listen.

    Granted, if you did put your foot in your mouth and say something about a friend it is going to take some time for them to trust you again. Be understanding of their needs, and work to repair your friendship as best you can.

    -Kate MacHugh, Intern For Driven

    What Does Your Facebook Say About You?

    “Facebook me.” How many times a day do you hear that? I am going to guess a lot. It seems lately that everyone is on Facebook-parents, relatives, teachers, pastors. Is your online persona, the person you want those important people in your life to view you as? If not, then you need to take a good hard look at what you are putting on Facebook for the world to see. Once it is on Facebook it becomes public knowledge. It may seem far off in the future, but employers  and colleges are going to look at your Facebook. However, Facebook can be a wonderful way to express yourself and keep in touch. So next time you think about posting a status or a picture, think to yourself-“Would my parent/pastor/future employer want to see this?” If not, its probably a smart idea to save that story for your friends, not the entire world.

    ~Kate MacHugh, Intern for Driven

    Just because “it’s the way it is” doesn’t mean it’s the way it should be

    If you’ve spent any time in one of our Say What??? groups over the last month or so, you’ve heard me say, “Just because “it’s the way it is” doesn’t mean it’s the way it should be.”  I’m happy to say, that phrase has caught on.

    I came up with is shortly after I’d heard a few teenagers in one day, at different times and about different things say, “Yeah but Mel, that’s just the way it is.  That’s what teenagers do these days.”  I thought, and asked, “Well, does that make it right?”  All three replied the same, No, but it’s just what we do.”

    That says to me that we have a large portion of your generation forgetting to set their own standard of living.  They forget their values and morals just to fit in. (There ARE exceptions to the case, of course)

    Sure, since the beginning of time people have always tried to fit in, but does that mean it should continue that way? Is that just another “way it is” cycle OR  can we take a look at how it “should” be and move in that direction?

    If everyone around you has a boyfriend or girlfriend, does that mean that you have to have one even if you don’t want one?

    Do you have to try drugs simply because you figure everyone tries them at least once in their life (that’s a myth by the way) and teens are notorious for trying them?

    When you go to dances or parties do you have to “grind” as a form of dancing or are you going to treat yourself and others with dignity and respect and not like objects?

    I’ve even heard of parents telling their teens that they want them to try sex before they get married just so they know what it’s like, and besides, “All the kids are doing it anyway.” WHAT???

    I may sound like a prude or strict or an unrealistic person, but I’m not.  I’m just holding you, or want to hold you to a higher standard.  Why? Because I know you can do it.  I also know that you’re wonderful and you owe it to yourself to develop your own set of values and have morals that you’re going to stick to.

    Your generation can change the way others think~ YOUR generation, starting with YOU, can guide children, who will one day become a teenager themselves, to become even greater than they already are by helping them to not compromise.

    I BELIEVE IN YOU, the question is, do you believe in yourself enough to think that you can make a difference?


    You ARE loved

    What a simple, sometimes overused statement~ Oh, but how true it is!

    I always tell teens, even if I’ve just met them, “I love you!”  Sure, sometimes I get strange looks and disbelief, after all, how can a total stranger love someone right?  But sometimes I get a huge smile and I see a heart that melts just a little.  The thought of being loved can bring a ray of light into our lives.

    Let me address the question, “How can you love a total stranger?”  Let me ask you: If you want to have children when you grow up, think about that baby.  Do you feel love in your heart? I bet you do.  Why? Is it because you feel it’s a life you’re meant to look over?  Is it because you automatically feel a connection to that child?  Well I feel the same way! 

    I remember the first time I felt led to work with teenagers.  Sure, I was a bit scared not knowing what to expect and not feeling like I had much to offer, but more than anything I felt the need to do it.  I felt like it was a duty.  After all, what else could I do with my past~ with my tragedies and triumphs~ other than to share it with those who needed it most? 

    I felt an automatic responsibility and connection… I felt motherly love fill my heart and this was even before I had children of my own.  I can’t help that I feel this way~ I just do 🙂

    There have been many nights where I’ve cried myself to sleep thinking of youth in need.  Some teens I already knew and some I was yet to know.  I finally just realized that God was filling my heart with just a fraction of the love he feels for teenagers~ for you.

    So, when I say you’re loved I’m not throwing worthless words into the wind~ I mean it.  I truly mean that I love you~ I love you because God loves you and because I want to offer you a love I felt I lacked in my own life when I was your age (I’m not placing blame on anyone in my past, it’s just the way I felt, the way I perceived my world and truth is, perception is seen as reality).

    In summary, and you can take it or leave it but I certainly hope you take it: You ARE loved!