There are many definitions for “honor.” But the one I am focusing on is 8th in Merriam Webster’s definition:
The Definition of Honor
When I wrote out my quick reference for the virtues and vices I wanted to work on, this is what I wrote for Honor: Be respectful and be worthy of respect.
My Current State of Recongizing Honor
By my definition, I do work on my honor quite a lot. I despise being late. Lateness interrupts other people’s lives and I hate to be the reason that someone had to wait or cancel an appointment because of me. Yes, even if that appointment was for alone time for some peace and quiet.
When people have to wait on others, they can’t relax. They have no clue when the person will arrive. In an effort to still be ready for whatever when the late-comer does arrive, people avoid getting involved in other tasks.
For some late-comers, they like to make up their lateness by staying longer. So not only did they throw off your schedule by not being on time, now you still can’t do anything because they want to hang out longer. And there go all your plans for the rest of the day or evening.
I respect that people want to see me for a particular duration or count on me to get them somewhere they need to be on time. I’m pretty good at that aspect of respect. Once in a while I mess up, I may forget or not be attentive to the clock so I arrive ten minutes late. That stresses me out.
Sometimes, it’s out of my control. For example, I offered to take my mother-in-law to an eye appointment in Seattle. Traffic can be brutal, I did my best to add on for extra delays in travel. However, this day, the highway was shut down. Not moving. There was no way I could get my mother-in-law to her appointment on time. Even though I had adjusted for unexpected delays, this delay was unplannable.
Even though it wasn’t something I did, I still felt horrible that she had to reschedule.
The reason I felt horrible is that I respect her time as well as her doctor’s time.
How Else Should I Practice Respect?
As I stated, I feel it’s important to be aware of other people’s timelines. A busy mom may only have a fifteen minute window in which to enjoy some peace before the kids are home, the husband is home and homework, after-school activities, and meals have her rushing around. She deserves to have that calm time so she can be her best for her family.
But how else, can I practice being respectful of other people?
Well, I took a peek around the internet and came across this article written in the St. Croix Source (an online newspaper for the U.S. Virgin Islands): Virtue of the Week: Honor.
In the first line of the article, it says, “Honor is living by the virtues, showing great respect for yourself, other people, and the rules you live by.“
I noticed something I never thought about, “…showing great respect for yourself…”. That’s not an easy task.
For some reason, I find it easier to have respect for other people than for myself. I find it embarrassing to admit that I had to search the internet to learn how to show myself respect.
How to Respect Myself
After trotting around the internet and scanning numerous articles on showing myself respect, there was one answer that kept popping up and waving at me.
“Don’t talk bad about yourself.” “Avoid making self-deprecating comments.” And a few other variations of the same.
And, I need to make a note to apologize to my friend who is always getting mad at me when I’m self-deprecating. She calls me out for it and I roll my eyes.
In my mind it’s not so bad. I mean, I’m not perfect. No one is. I don’t want to give the impression that I’m all knowing or perfect. Sometimes it’s nice to know that another person struggles or doesn’t assume they are perfect at things.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met people who toot their own horn louder than a freight train rolling through town. At writer’s conventions, I’ve met people who tell me how awesome their writing is and how they have the next great novel, and so on. Then they show me something they are going to present to an editor or agent and I go from awe at their self-proclaimed abilities to “are you sure you don’t want to give that a once over?”
Let’s be clear, I’m not a grammar or punctuation wizard. Hello, just read through this piece and you’ll know that. For me to catch basic grammar errors and be concerned is a pretty big deal.
This is why I try to be as real as possible. I make grand mistakes myself. I’ve done some doozies.
But clearly, I’m blind to the difference between keeping things real and putting myself down.
The Plan for Practicing Honor
When I started this piece today, I figured I’d have a plan for how to work on my respect for others. It doesn’t seem right to work on respecting myself. Yet, I want to grow and do better, so it does make sense, and yet, it doesn’t. Geez, I could drive a therapist mad.
Okay, I’m going to suck it up and for the first couple of days, Monday and Tuesday, I will try to catch any self-deprecating comments I make.
On Wednesday and Thursday, I will try to avoid saying self-deprecating comments. And Friday through Sunday, I will work on finding something postitive to say about myself.
For some reason, this really annoys me. This could be a sign it’s something I need to work on. And I’m already trying to refute it in my mind, “I’m not that bad. It’s just being real. Pfft.”
If you ever struggled with putting yourself down and overcame it, PLEASE, share in the comments. How did you do it?
A few other pieces you may find interesting: