“Don’t ever forget kindness and truth. Wear them like a necklace. Write them on your heart as if on a tablet. Then you will be respected and will please both God and people.” From the Proverbs
Admit it. You long for respect and appreciation almost as much as you do love. I do!
No Respect Then No Trust
My greatest goal in life is to help people feel better about themselves. I can’t do this without their respect. No one will listen to my accolades and suggestions unless they feel they can trust me. Without trust and respect I have no credibility. I’m just another Joe blowing smoke.
Every single person has the ability to be respected, honored and appreciated in ways that make a difference to others. These are the extraordinary people that grab your attention; the ones you listen to; the ones you admire; and mostly, the ones you want to emulate.
You know who I mean. They are the extra special people in your life. The ones you respect as much as superstars. And how is it they earned such a high standing in your life? It’s simple: they are nice! They act as if you are important. They listen intently. They give. They smile. And as a result you feel important and loved and cared for.
Be Nice and Tell the Truth
The Proverbs encourage us to demonstrate two powerful attributes: kindness and honesty. Put simply: be nice and tell the truth.
We are told that the meek will inherent the earth. The meek are not weak, nor are they doormats. Actually the meek are so strong they have no need to force their will on others. They allow others to disagree, to hold different philosophies or religions or ethics (as long as those ethics bring no harm to others).
In the end, it is the meek who garner our respect. When I think of the respect of the meek my mind immediately goes to “Celie” in Steven Spielberg’s brilliant film, The Color Purple, starring Oprah Winfrey in her award winning debut performance.
Throughout the film Celie endures unspeakable abuse with quiet humility and strength of character. The film ends with Oprah (Celie) sitting on the porch of her home surrounded by the respect and love of her family and friends. She inherits the earth. Unforgettable.
This image is forever forged in my psyche as the model of what it takes to be a difference maker. The lesson is powerful: Be kind and speak truth.
The choice is yours. Follow obnoxious politicians belligerently fighting for respect or, be kind. Make others as important as yourself… or maybe even more.
A Simple Truth
Counterintuitive? Yes. Truthful? Absolutely!
And Discover Respect
Photo courtesy of francescoch at istockphoto