The BetterMan Verities series covers virtues core to the idea of being a man. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty surrounding masculinity and where it fits in, in a politically correct world.
Up to now I have covered the following Verities:
- Self Worth
- Being Fearless
- Self Control
In this post, we add Respect to the Verities list.
Men are respectable only as they respect. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
What exactly does “having respect” mean?
The definition of respect according to the dictionary is:
: an act of giving particular attention : consideration
3a : high or special regard : esteem b : the quality or state of being esteemed
On respecting people as equals
Our lives would mean very little were it not for the relationships we have with other people. They give us meaning, hope, and purpose.
However our interactions do not end with the people we love and care for. It extends to the man cleaning the street, the lady that rings up your groceries and the old man driving recklessly slow in front of you.
Having respect then for these people mean to hold them in high regard and to give them your attention as needed. You are not more important than someone because of your upbringing or vocation.
“I speak to everyone in the same way, whether he is the garbage man or the president of the university.”
― Albert Einstein
Respect for every person that crosses your path is a trait of a real (gentle)man.
Is it easy to always be respectable?
Will you sometimes fail?
However you will never stop in your effort to be more respectful of others.
On respect when it is difficult
It is worth mentioning again that we have little control over our emotions, they appear out of nowhere. Even though you cannot stop an emotion, you can control your behaviour.
When someone wrongs you (and they will), you still have the ability to stop, reflect, and treat them with respect. As a BetterMan should.
On being more considerate
An important take-away from the definition of respect is that of consideration. This, is hard as hell!!!
If applied to our daily life, it would mean being able to listen to someone else’s worldview/opinion without an agenda. Without going on the defensive straight away. The world is not black and white. Your reality has been shaped by your upbringing and perceptions. This makes your opinion unique, but not necessarily right.
Want to experience how hard it can be to talk to someone with an open mind, being respectful of their views and not judging their perception from the get go? Try talking to someone who opposes your views on inequality in the workplace, BEE, #whiteprivilege or even which diet is the best one.
On being a nice guy
For all you “nice guys” out there:
Being respectful and considerate does NOT mean agreeing with everything someone else has to say. You can be respectful and disagree with someone at the same time. It is all a matter of attitude and approach.
Respect is a two way street.
Sticking to your values and Verities will inspire others to respect you.
On the act of respect
Respect is an action. It is the way you TREAT the people around you.
It makes you a better listener, a more thoughtful communicator, and a gentler man.
Treat the world with respect and you will be respected.
“Respect for ourselves guides our morals; respect for others guides our manners”
― Laurence Sterne
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