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Letter: Show more respect for fellow humans

Letter: Show more respect for fellow humans


It’s a soul thing.

No matter how far I’ve traveled, how many people of different circumstances, color, or beliefs I have met, I have never been able to fully understand them. Us, the complexities of humans. We are at a critical moment in time that requires every fiber of our strength, where digging deep may not be enough.

This is our once-in-a-century opportunity to test our courage and kindness. Lord knows it’s hard when there are a whole lot of obnoxious people out there. Like the man (man, woman) at the gym who decides he does not need to wear his mask. Why does he think his life is worth more than mine, or the other members or the staff?

I may not understand him, but I will no longer excuse or tolerate privileged behavior. And I told him, loudly and with conviction.

I stopped puffing my chest and throwing around my supermodel, glamorous past years ago.

I choose self-respect.

I choose my self-worth, and yours on an equal playing ground.

I choose to practice empathy, humility, and patience. Lord knows we have to dig deep, and then dig a little deeper.

Because manners matter when surrounded by ignorance, light-hearted effort matters most.

We are so much more than this moment, and we forget so fast where we came from. Greed and arrogance leave black stains on your DNA.

It’s exhausting and soul-crushing.

I will always call out a bully.

I will always strive for deeper understanding.

I will always try to remember the lessons a good, just, humble father and mother taught me.

Make no mistake, that this lesson took a long, long, long time to fully grasp.

Sticking up for yourself and others is your God-given right. You have the right to be here, to be seen, and to be respected.

You have the right to be alive.

Human connection, and how we are remembered, is the beautiful lesson. That is the only currency we leave behind. Choose it wisely.

A huge debt of gratitude and thanks to the Auburn YMCA staff and (most) members for working tirelessly to maintain a clean and safe environment in these difficult times, beneficial for both physical fitness and mental health.

Jacqueline Cioffa



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