Tapestry of Faith: Virtue Ethics: An Ethical Development Program for High School Youth

Taking It Home: Respect

Part of Virtue Ethics

The soul that is within me no man can degrade. — Frederick Douglass

IN TODAY'S WORKSHOP... we heard about Joseph Jordan, the first ordained African American Universalist minister. We identified aspects of his life that exemplified respect. We named respect role models and acted out respect dilemmas.

Explore Respect

  • The movie Easy A echoes one of the dilemmas presented in this workshop. In the movie, a girl pretends to have sex with male friends to increase their standing among a group of males, but, by doing so, she loses other people's respect. Watch the movie with your peers. Does this story reflect reality in your school? Watch it with a parent/caregiver. Does the story reflect their high school experience, too?
  • The singer Aretha Franklin recorded a famous song, "Respect", written by Otis Redding. The Staple Singers are famous for the song "Respect Yourself." Why do you think respect is a common theme of African American popular music artists? You can read the lyrics of these songs on the Poem Hunter website, along with lyrics of many other songs about respect. Do you know any of these songs? Listen to a few on YouTube if you do not have them on CD.
  • Help spread countercultural messages about respect and popularity. One girl's attempt is on YouTube. Watch meganheartsmakeup video on respecting yourself and read people's responses, including one from ruauch800. These videos talk mostly about girls and respect. Can you find video messages for boys? Do some males also end up in relationships where they are not respected? If you should find yourself in a relationship where you are not respected, or you know someone who is, seek resources. If you do not know who to call in your community, you can start with the Love is Respect website.

Role Models

16 Guidelines for Life, an initiative of The Foundation for Developing Compassion and Wisdom, tries to help people strengthen their moral character with a focus on many of the virtues that are part of this program, including respect, loyalty, forgiveness, courage, and humility. Find the page with bios of two respect role models.