where character counts and integrity is the keystone

Article, Personal Story


As I was working on Heroes Part 1, I used the word respect and realized that I should cover this basic courtesy. I grew up hearing that respect has to earned before it is given. I think that this is a misnomer. I think that some respect can be given while you are earning another persons respect. Let me give you an example, many years ago I served a mission for my church. As a missionary, I was given the title of Elder; which means teacher in the context of our missionaries. We started teaching a guy and he asked for my name, I told him Elder Becker. He asked for my name again. At which point I told him it was William. Over the course of the next lessons he switched to calling me Elder instead of William. I earned his respect, in part because I started the relationship respectfully.

re┬Ěspect tr.v.
1. To feel or show deferential regard for; esteem.
2. To avoid violation of or interference with: respect the speed limit.
3. To relate or refer to; concern.

1. A feeling of appreciative, often deferential regard; esteem.
2. The state of being regarded with honor or esteem.
3. Willingness to show consideration or appreciation.
4. respects Polite expressions of consideration or deference: pay one’s respects.
[From Middle English, regard, from Old French, from Latin respectus ….]

In our society it seems, to me, many people want others respect without earning it. I remember having some people in my life that felt they deserved my respect. They are older than me and certainly have more experience. They however, did not always act like the should have and it was hard for me to respect those individuals.

I hear about women or men getting upset because a door is held open for them. I don’t understand this personally. I lived in Texas, and Texas still lives in my heart, and it is quite customary for people to hold doors for each other. I don’t just mean men for women, I mean everybody. Where I live now, I often hold doors for others and get a thank you. I also get doors held for me on a regular basis and I make sure I say thank you. Politeness and courtesy can go along way. You never know when you might run into that person again and your small courtesy could change the next interaction with that individual. It has been said that an armed society is a polite society. While I am an avid 2nd Amendment supporter, I also don’t believer that in order for our society to be respectful and courteous, we all have to be armed all the time. Although, being prepared and armed is wise, that is a discussion and for another time discussion.

iron wil