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INTOTHEBEST, Inc. Scholarship Finalist Joshua Bowden

Congratulations to Joshua Bowden from Paris High School
It was difficult selecting 4 finalists from 1,500 applications. There were many strong essays.

Joshua's Essay: Respect versus Affection

I once read in a novel a question that made me pause to think. Would I rather be liked or respected? I am rather partial to being liked. I have grown fond of having friends and being more than slightly popular. In fact, I often go out of my way to prevent those I respect from disliking me. That is the basis of my stance, in fact. While I enjoy being liked, I would rather be respected because one who is respected has the power to change things.

I know a great many people that I like. It often takes something extreme to make me dislike someone. However, there are only a few among my acquaintances that I respect enough to listen to when it comes to things important to me. Once, a friend told me that arguing with the teacher was a good way to get a bad grade. I liked this fellow, and listened to him. I did not take his advice. Another classmate came to me and said that I was being a disruption to the class's studies and that the teacher was beginning to think negatively of me. I respected this person quite a bit, mainly because he often got to the heart of matters, and started to suppress some of my argumentative urges. Although one could make a case that I listened to the latter friend because he pointed out the true issues, I know that I listened to him because I respected him. I have never bothered to take the advice of a person I did not respect. I have never changed a thing for those I did not respect. I can only assume that others are the same.

My friends all like me, I assume. I do not think they would be my friends if they did not like me. It seems a dull ruse. They all enjoy spending my company, but only the ones who respect me will let me close to them. A co-worker of mine and I have had many, many arguments over her relationships and the advice that I give her. The pattern is always the same; she comes to me with a problem, I point out a solution, she ignores me, and ends up crying on my shoulder. She does not particularly like me. We are not truly friends, and I quite often cannot stand her company. But she respects me, because she comes to me every time for advice. She does not always take it, although on occasions she does. However, she asks, listens, and considers it.

I have been fortunate in my formulative years to have had great teachers. I always try to be liked by them, because it is always in a student's best interest to be a friend of the instructor. More than that, I try to earn their respect. I forget occasionally and alienate my teachers, generally when I do not respect them or their subject. However, I mainly do my job as a learner so that I may get the most out of the school. Teachers will teach better to students they respect than students they like.

I have great dreams. I suppose I am a typical teenager with illusions of changing the world for the better, five years out of school. I may be the average high school dreamer who refuses to give in to the cynicism that pervades society today. I do not care, for I have great dreams. I cannot see those dreams realized if I am not respected. I cannot change the world if the world does not respect me. The world likes Britney Spears. They respect George W. Bush. Personally, I think the latter has better odds.

How IntotheBest's Essay Advice Helped Joshua

INTOTHEBEST's Essay Advice helped me quite a bit in this essay. It brought passive voice to my attention (I tend to ignore Word's grammar check). It prompted me to avoid a few wordy places and to replace some words with simpler synonyms. Thank you.

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