Respecting others is a slippery slope and has nothing to do with entitlement.

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.  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.  You are not “in charge” or the “boss”merely because you say you are.  That lacks humility and goes against honest Christian values.

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 were 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.

Over the years, I have worked with many organizations where the folks at the head were more concerned with their own self- promotion than the project at hand. Recently, there was to be a literary event of magnitude in my home area. Understandably, I was excited. After all, this was my profession and now it was coming close to home. People all over the country sent books to be judged; many of them were well-known authors and some quite new to the profession.

There had been grand plans for the event… had it been followed through until the end. However, instead of truth telling by those in the lead, there were excuses and alibis when the “leader” abruptly left. It left many wondering if indeed it was ever to have happened in the first place. It appears that no one thought this through. Unfortunately, it has caused a great deal of displeasure and annoyance.

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.

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