When respecting and honoring others becomes a habit, respect and honor cannot fail to return to one’s self.
Honoring may require a lowering of self in order to lift the other up, but it’s worth it.
July 3, 2021
To honor another is to give them a priceless gift that can build them up, encourage them, even heal them.
October 9, 2021
In ‘Little Book of Virtues,’ I write of how sometimes thinking of the opposite of a virtue can help to clarify the virtue. Danielle Shroyer, who blogs under the name of the “Soul Ninja,” writes the following about Jealousy, a kind of opposite heart position to the virtue of Honoring others:
“…Of course, everyone feels jealous sometimes. So Pema Chodron wisely adds, “Work with jealousy when it’s small, otherwise when it hits full force you’ll be swept away.” Jealousy has a way of becoming a monster.
Jealousy is a reaction of insecurity. When we see someone else do well and we resent them, it’s because we’re operating from a place of self-consciousness rather than self-awareness. In reality, their success likely has nothing to do with us. But we respond to it as if it is a personal attack. It’s good to step back and realize how utterly ridiculous this is.
The truth is, we don’t get to have everything go our way. And we don’t get to block others from having things go their way, either. Why would we?! Just because an arch-nemesis loses an award doesn’t mean we win it. But jealousy can sometimes fool us into feeling otherwise. But pettiness is a sign of a small soul. We are bigger and deeper than that.
Much of the jealousy mentality stems from a fear of lack. But the truth is, nobody has ever said, “I’ve experienced too many amazing books/poems/songs/new business ideas. I don’t have room for any more.” We can root for everyone. There’s enough appreciation to go around.
And on days when we feel appreciation is lacking, we can choose to be part of the solution by lifting others up. A rising tide lifts all boats, as they say. Which is why Norman Fischer suggests we practice sympathetic joy. It’s the opposite of jealousy. Whenever you see someone experience joy, join in. Be thrilled when a coworker gets a raise or promotion, or when that old friend publishes a book. Feel happy when someone gets married, or gets a kitten, or a fabulous new pair of shoes. Instead of resenting the joy, join it. Fischer says, “Not only will you feel jealousy less, but the precise occasions that in the past made you jealous will now make you happy.”
Talk about a turnaround!
Life’s too short. Don’t be jealous. Join in the joy you see around you, and see how that shifts your soul.”
June 27, 2021
Star quarterback of the Seattle Seahawks is never shy about honoring others, on or off the football field. In this case, the “honoree” is Sue Bird, the hard-working, talented and consistent point guard for the Seattle Storm basketball team.
June 7, 2021
Authors’s note: I ask the question in the contemplation section of the “honoring” page of Little Book of Virtues, “Do you know anyone who consistently honors others well?” For me, this person is my precious friend, Tom Buehring. Tom is my mentor and guide when it comes to honoring others. I have learned simply by being around him and watching how he treats people. When he is in a restaurant, he knows the server by name, and by the end of the meal, they are best of friends, the server glowing from the praise and kindness Tom shows to them. Tom works in broadcasting, and once lived in Tampa Bay, Florida, where he covered the “Rays” baseball team. I had the privilege of going with Tom to a game; as we parked in the parking lot and began to walk toward the stadium, I swear all the parking attendants, ticket takers, security guards and others…made it a point to seek out Tom. And he greeted them all by name, many with a hug and some type of encouragement and/or acknowledgement. I was in awe. It was beautiful. And I said to myself, “I want to be like Tom. I want to treat people, even strangers, with the love and respect and honor that Tom shows to people.”
July 14, 2021
The following is a Facebook post from seven years ago by Kwasi Bowie, a young man who would soon marry one of my cousins. I was extremely impressed that Kwasi would take the time and make the effort to honor my mother in this very public way, and I saved his post, as follows. His statement at the end of the post about considering the legacy he will leave is also a major part of the reason I published “Little Book of Virtues,” and for me, shows wisdom way beyond Kwasi’s years… By the way, Kwasi and his wife Angela and their three beautiful children are still living out the virtues today!
May 17, 2021. A man I had the privilege of visiting with once upon a time whom I want to honor publicly; Eugene Peterson, author of “The Message”.