Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today's fortune: February 16, 2011

Today's fortune: Your respect for others will be your ticket to success.

I've been postulating about that word, "respect," all day long. So as usual, let's turn to Dictionary.com to see what they have to say on the subject: "Esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability."

And it ain't just an Aretha Franklin song.


I like that definition of respect: "Esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person..." But there's a word missing, a word that I often associate with "respect," and I assume other people do too: the word "Like."

To respect someone doesn't mean you have to like them.

My respect is something that's easy to gain and even easier to lose. I often give people the benefit of the doubt when I first meet them and find ways to respect them. But if the person rubs me the wrong way within the first days, hours or even seconds of meeting them, the opposite happens: they quickly lose my respect. In fact, I've been guilty in the past of actively finding ways to disrepect those folks.

That's a problem, and it's my problem, not theirs. It all goes back to the separation of the concepts of "like" and "respect."

Faithful reader Layne also had an interesting take on respect: "Does respect equate to, or manifest itself in, diplomacy?"

That's a great question. And to frame it in the current context, think about this: how hard is it to be diplomatic to someone you don't like?

I'm going to make a concerted effort to acknowledge my respect for the people in my life, especially the people I don't like, as much as it pains me. An increased level of diplomacy should surely result.

And, if this fortune holds true - as they usually do - I'll punch my ticket to success.

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