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Being respectful in chapel

Respecting the message: The Talon staff encourages you to stop complaining and criticizing and start listening

“Did you see what she was wearing?”

“Dude, I counted and he said like 48 times during his presentation.”

“Her voice was so annoying, I couldn’t even sleep.”

“He can’t relate to anyone… why do we have to sit here? I could be doing homework.”

Sound familiar? These commonly uttered phrases often follow presentations given by students, teachers, or guest speakers during Thursday chapel services.

Some students think they can’t relate to what the speakers are saying, but regardless, the speakers don’t deserve the ruthless scrutiny they often endure after their presentations.

While many students are attentive during chapel presentations, an alarming number of people choose to ridicule, mock and disrespect the speakers, as well as the message the speakers choose to share with the student body.

Students often complain that the speaker wasn’t relevant to them, but perhaps they aren’t meeting the speaker halfway.

Relevancy is a major source of complaint regarding chapel speakers. Speakers often use specific and personal anecdotes to deliver their message, a message they are trying to get across to over 400 students. It’s not an easy task to craft a speech that will resonate with each one of those students literally, so speakers try to incorporate a broader message into their personal stories.

Instead of complaining that the speaker didn’t say anything meaningful or worthwhile, students should look for at least one aspect of the presentation to critically consider its application in their life. This could lead to greater appreciation of the speaker and the courage it took for them to share a message with hundreds of high school students.

Even if it’s hard to focus on a presentation, consider it practice for collegiate and adult life scenarios when it’s necessary to pay attention to and respect speakers that may not be the most interesting.

We at the Talon challenge you to step back and truly think about the messages being shared in chapel. Some people are naturally gifted speakers while others are not, but that doesn’t mean the latter has a less personal or compelling message.

Instead of tearing these people down, picking at their outfits or speech patterns, complaining about the delivery of their speech or looking for faults in their message, look for the aspects of their presentations that were well-done.

No matter what your faith or spirituality is, don’t be disruptive and rude to the speaker by whispering to your peers during chapel, seeing as no one would want to be disrespected if they were speaking.

The Talon staff challenges you to respect the nature of chapel (regardless of your opinions on it) and act as young men and women of wisdom, integrity and compassion.

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About Frances Hoekstra

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