Respecting others is a slippery slope.
We all want to be respected, but there are times the phrase is either misused or underutilized. So often we hear someone say something similar to, “They weren’t giving me my respect, so I….” This line is usually followed with explanation of some negative action given to the supposed offender. It is difficult to respect someone who hasn’t, (and doesn’t) earn our respect. The recent generations seem more concerned with having us all “respecting” them, but it’s difficult not to notice that often they don’t earn the respect they command. We are entitled to nothing we haven’t earned ourselves; that’s both figuratively and literally.
I often think of my grandfather’s generation where men and woman both knew they were responsible for their own actions. Their hands were rarely open to receive, but rather more often to give. A person’s word and a handshake was as good as a signed contract. If someone said they would be there at a specific time, they were. Rarely were there excuses and alibis. These were actions to be respected. For the most part, they seem to be a thing of the past. Let’s all work on that.
It appears that earning respect is as simple as: telling the truth, keeping your word, showing up when you are supposed to, and making decisions of integrity. Not always an easy road, but one that is… respected. Let us all do our best.
Today, I challenge everyone to look not at the negatives of their individual lives, but rather focus on a positive.
It is virtually impossible not to find one good thing in even the most challenging of situations. I keep thinking about a Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital radio telethon on a local station, last year. It was impossible not to detect thankfulness in parents’ voices for the care their child had received while at St. Jude. For those who do not know, this is a hospital that treats children with life threatening diseases and never, I repeat NEVER, turns away a child whose family is unable to afford the cost of the treatment. It is one of my personal favorite organizations for many reasons. But what hit me particularly hard was a parent, on air, who was saying that each and everytime they bring their young daughter there for Chemotherapy, when the treatment is over… she wants to stay and play… “because they are so nice there.” The child may or may not survive her ordeal, but both she and the parents seem to get that there is always a positive in even the toughest of circumstances. I admire them.
Look at your own life. Find the celebration. Sue
Often, I write about “Integrity”… one of my own personal choices in life. Although I take a great deal of “heat” in doing so sometimes-I make the choice of handling issues in my life with Integrity: you know, making the right choice in spite of the outcome. That involves telling the truth. Sometimes, these “truths” are said to others, even when they might not be welcome at the time. Sometimes, I am not “liked” afterwards.
When one chooses not to address a wrong in a close friend’s, family member’s, or loved one’s life, especially if it affects others negatively, to me that’s prideful. It’s the easy way out and it’s the path of least resistance. I believe it translates that you care for your own well-being more than the well-being of others. That, to me, lacks integrity. With this choice, we are more concerned with being “liked” than trying to right a wrong that is clearly evident and hurtful to others. Hurting another human is never o.k.
True, when we make the attempt to correct a wrong…we usually ruffle some feathers. Actually, we always ruffle feathers. We have to actively step out of our own comfort zone and approach someone who has been safely “existing” (perhaps not even living) in his/her comfort zone. Sometimes, they are even oblivious to the self-destruction of their own actions.
It’s difficult to address someone about his/her negative choices in life that affect others. But it can be done.
Then, should the other person continue on the same path, we have the decision to make whether we partake in their lives or remove ourselves.
Decisions of integrity are often painful for all parties, but in the end… are the only solution.