No matter who I meet in this life I treat them with a basic human respect. Whatever they’re current station in life whether it be homeless and addicted to drugs or a billionaire on a yacht, I treat them mostly the same. We all have been through our respective trials, vices, losing streaks, and have come out the other side. But the respect I speak of in this post is forged of a stronger material, one that comes from somewhere deep inside. Think of someone you truly respect, maybe a relative, teacher, friend, or mentor if you are that fortunate. Chances are, they exemplify characteristics you seek to emulate, acting as a compass in times of moral crisis.
While it’s of the utmost importance to have this person in your life, it is more important to become this person. Do people look up to you? Do team members, family, and/or friends come to you for guidance in times of personal chaos? Does your opinion hold weight in a meeting of peers? All of these things signify the respect I speak of. If none of these apply to you it’s important to ask yourself why. While it’s easy to say “well I don’t want that, I just want to live my life”, it’s hard to admit that you too have shortcomings to work on and do just that. This respect is earned, earned through toil and sweat, long hours and sacrifice. The reward is the respect of men who will follow you to the end of the Earth, men that will follow your orders not out of fear of punishment but of willing zest. As the Myrmidons, the fiercest warriors in all of Greece followed Achilles, so too will they follow you. None of us want to be written off, to have our opinions stubbed out like a cheap cigarette and discarded.
Aim for respect gentlemen.
For your reading pleasure: The Soft American by John F. Kennedy
Quit Complaining and Do Something: It’s Not Fair