By Nicholas Riedesel
Respect. It’s what we all crave and it keeps peace in many lives. As for myself, I have found the respect from and for my peers. Growing up as a Catholic student at a Catholic elementary school, I was always surrounded by my faith. Not to say sheltered, but engulfed.
My friends were the students that I knew since kindergarten, if not earlier. Together we practiced our faith in weekly Mass and religious education classes. Our faith was a bond between us all.
The opportunity of attending a Catholic school came to an end after eighth grade; the transition to a public high school had begun. I knew that going to a public school would be a complete 180 twist from a Catholic school and was in a way worried about what would be ahead. One of the first thoughts I could remember formulating was “Yes, I don’t have to go to church every Wednesday!” It sounds terrible, but I was oblivious of the role the weekly Masses played in my life.
I quickly realized the importance of my faith and how much I should respect it as soon as I met new people. Everyone is different; this plays true in my group of great friends. We are always making plans to be with each other and to enjoy the times we share.
With us, debates about random political issues or personal problems come up all the time and so does the topic of faith. Of the five of us, one is Catholic. At times I think I’m by myself. In those times I am wrong. It all comes down to respect. Respecting others might be hard, but the people who respect you are the ones you should keep close by.
As soon as I started high school I was worried I wouldn’t find new friends who shared the Catholic faith with me, but the mutual respect I share with my non-Catholic friends is flawless. Even our difference in faith cannot keep us from respecting each other.
(Nicholas Riedesel is a senior at Central-DeWitt High School and belongs to St. Joseph Parish in DeWitt.)