So I went to my Bible group yesterday and we discussed the idea of Honoring people. Honoring people is about lowering yourself to make another person look good. In other words you give credit where credit is due by esteeming that person in the presence of others. When we consider how we take people in our lives for granted we forget that sometimes where we are right now would not have been possible had it not been for that one or two people being there to make things happen. The aim here is to practice humility by understanding the importance of developing selflessness as oppose to selfishness. You put the needs and desires of others above your own by having the heart of a servant even if it’s not part of your job description, you volunteer to be because that is what it means to be selfless.
Developing the character of selflessness is no way an easy task and yet, people wonder why we live in a love-starved world. It is this lack of selflessness that we choose to live in a selfish world. In fact, we encourage selfishness because we have cultivated an “each man for themselves” philosophy which has become a norm in many industrialized nations. To me, this answers many of the questions I have regarding the societal evils that exist in this world such as greed, conceit, apathy and the lack of regard to moral values that encourage solidarity within humanity. [Notice how I often reflect on things regarding the state our our world in my blogs? I find that I am in constant reflection on these matters because so many things concern me that I often express these same concerns in various ways, so to the reader I apologize if you think I am the moral police, all I ask is to please bare with me on this one.]
Consider how we take the presence of Emergency crews (EMS), Fire fighters and Police for granted. They do the things they do not because it is their job and duty – they choose to serve others for the sake of the greater good. They do things that rarely grant them recognition and appreciation and are often criticized for not doing enough even though they risk their own lives performing these duties for our benefit. We must understand that when they serve others, it’s not because they have to but because they want to. They do things not expecting anything in return and yet I believe people should be rewarded and honored for such selflessness that they put into practice because they deserve our recognition and respect.
It is so easy to complain about these individuals and disrespect them without fully appreciating the value that they have in our take-for-granted lives.
Can you imagine your world without police, without garbage collectors, health practitioners etc ? I don’t think I want to even entertain the thought of it but it is important to reflect on these things so that we have a sobered view about how we take people in our lives for granted. Also consider how we even take our families for granted. Ideally, parents love their children and do so many things for them sacrificially because it is their duty. However, they also do these things because they do it out of love. There was a girl in our group who mentioned how she wished she had done more for her mom when her mother needed support and how she’d taken that step to be there for her when she needs her because she doesn’t want to regret the consequence of maintaining a selfish attitude. This has changed her outlook and perspective on life in that it has led her to be more appreciative and grateful of what she has now and reflects on the things she didn’t value earlier.
Consider this: Must you wait to experience the regret of not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone to honor those individuals that are in your lives?
Who and what do you value in your life presently?
You find that for those that have attended funerals, many people often discuss regrets of what they would have liked to have said or done for the person that has now passed on. This regret communicates how we take people’s lives for granted. Must you wait for a person to die to give them honor and live with regrets for how you could have treated them while they were with you all that time when they were alive? Life is way too short to maintain regrets so I emphasize, do what you can do NOW so that you don’t live with regrets of the “coulda woulda shoulda but ultimately didn’t”.
I remember a teaching from my grandparents about learning the two most important phrases that can get you ahead in life; they are “Please” and “Thank You”. You’d be surprised how these two phrases are taken for granted in this day and age but they should be regarded with high value and those that walk in humility know the value of these words.
My Last Note:
How can you honor people? There are various ways you can do this and it doesn’t necessarily have to be extravagant. It’s the small things that count that make the most difference. You can start with the “please” and “thank you” phrases and you can also trying communicating your appreciation through compliments. And when I say compliments, I mean sincere compliments and not just mere words of flattery – words that you don’t mean from the very depths of your heart. Compliment people and understand the difference between a compliment and flattery. My sister Sharon mentioned in this discussion that “a compliment builds a person’s character whereas flattery boosts a persons ego” and it is important to understand these differences so that you discern the difference between how flattery has no valued purpose but to create room for pride and conceit based on selfish motivations whereas compliments nurture a positive character and builds self-esteem. Thank those that have helped you, treasure everyone who is in your life and treat people the way you’d like to be treated. Don’t wait to value what you presently have until it’s gone. Honor people around you and you will be honored in return.
“Compliments cost nothing, yet many pay dear for them”. ~ Thomas Fuller