Columnist

Jay Simpson, a former Champaign Central High School and Purdue basketball standout, writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at jsimpson@news-gazette.com.

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The way I was raised, you have to give respect to get respect.

That doesn’t mean walk around disrespecting people until they respect you, it just means do not expect to get treated the right way if you’re mistreating people.

Treat people the way you’d like to be treated. It’s very simple.

When I see children being disrespectful to adults, especially elders, I step in, because where I’m from, that is not to be tolerated.

Adults make the most sacrifices for children so they won’t have to live the same way they did. Some kids understand that and show the utmost respect, and some kids just don’t get it.

These are the ones I want to get through to, because respect can take you a long way. People don’t forget when they’ve been disrespected, so I would hate for a young child to be punished for something they did years ago out of a lack of maturity.

For example, I remember a close friend of mine and I were at the gym awhile back. We were maybe 12 or 13 years old and there was a man who was in his late 30s working at the gym. He told us it was time for us to leave because they were closing soon, so we needed to call our rides.

I obeyed what he said, packed up and called my ride, but my friend did the complete opposite. He continued to shoot and refused to call his ride; instead, he got mouthy with the man and disrespected him really bad.

That led to my friend getting banned from the gym, and I’ll never forget the man telling my friend to “remember that” as we walked out.

So about 10 years later, after my friend had graduated college with honors, he applied for a job at the same gym, not knowing that the man he disrespected as a child was now the boss of the position he applied for. So my friend gets an interview and the boss is the one to interview him. The man asked my friend if he remembered who he was, then told him exactly who he was and let him know he never forgot the disrespectful young man from 10 years ago.

To make a long story short, my friend didn’t get the job and was reminded to always treat people with respect, because you never know how the tables may turn.

That old guy you’re disrespecting could easily be the one who decides if you get a job or not.

Always be respectful and treat people the way you’d like to be treated, because you never know when you’ll need a person.

Jay Simpson writes for The News-Gazette. His column appears Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. He can be reached at jsimpson@news-gazette.com.