The Solution

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Respect is not a sign of weakness

The real weakness is in giving way to your emotions when they don’t do you any good. The real weakness is showing that you’ve lost control of yourself or worse…never had control of yourself in the first place.

Those who have true strength are those who can remain cooly neutral, giving respect when interacting with others, most especially their enemies. This is where you’ll discover that you are your own worst enemy. Respect is something you can build first for yourself, and then extend it towards others, using it as a common bond, a foundation to base connections.

Everyone in this world can exert either positive or negative energy and influence, yet every interaction can be used to develop experience to make you stronger. Some of these experiences might even help you attain your goals.

People will open their hearts to those who treat them with a measure of love and respect—and that means more opportunities for you.


A skill that goes hand in hand with respect

One of the class skills of being an Adult is knowing your place in relation to others. It’s not about anyone being any better than anyone else, but understanding that we all have our roles to play and stations in life.

I call this a ‘class’ skill is because many Adults don’t understand the—Do Not Crossing Over Into The Domain Of Another—aspect of life.

In short, they have no “class”.

Look, I’m a father. I’ve been one for over 25 years of this printing. What right does another male have to come into my house or even walk up to me and tell me how to raise my kids? Or tell my wife how to do her job as a mom?

Only someone who’s looking to either be laughed out of my house…or get their butt thrown through my front window.

They have no rights in my domain.

This goes both ways.

There are lots of things I see that I don’t like that go on around me, but do I tell other parents how to do their jobs?

No I do not. My passion goes down on a website or in print and if that parent happens to discover it and use it—awesome. If not, well, I wish them all the success in the world.

This rule also goes for work, church, families and friends…just don’t cross lines—and here’s the exception to the rule: unless you are openly invited.

There are times when family, friends, even coworkers may ask you for an opinion, which is not the same thing. The difference is, on the one hand you encroach, while on the other hand, you’re invited.

For the record, the rest of us who do know where our place is (and how to stand in it), think the rest of the ‘cross-over’ Adults are annoying little turds. My fondest wish is that it be legal to shoot them with a paintball gun and bullets that stain for up to 6 months. That way we could warn the populace of the walking buttheads.

I digress.


Being Respectful

Respect is also about acknowledging the office one holds in relation to yourself. The difference between Adult and child behavior would be working hard for your employer vs. “I only work as hard as I’m being paid.”

But thats the rub. People who think like that have it all backwards.

If you’ve ever wondered why you haven’t gotten a raise, it’s most likely because you haven’t had enough respect for the job you have, the work you’ve given and don’t realize that your employer has paid for your compliance.

That’s right. You are actually paid not to think that way.

Those who don’t understand the value of a job….ANY job, have never been without one while trying to survive. Literally survive…like myself and my own family.

Before I was married, my fathers household fell on hard times. My father could not, no matter what he tried, find work to support the family—so it fell upon those few of us older teens and young adults to take whatever we could to help pay the bills.

Working at gas station for minimum wage was what I called the 7th level of Chinese hell (Chuck tells me they have a lot of hells) and regularly did two 24 hour shifts a week. This was before people started screaming for an increase in district wages—which forced companies to cut back hours and lay off workers. I could work however many hours my boss would give me (what a concept!).

When the paychecks came, I took enough to buy a carton of smokes for myself and gave the rest to my family. Only two of us could find work. Me and my brother-in-law.

Was it hard? Absolutely.

Did I complain? Probably some, but only because I was tired—not because I regretted helping my family.

I was grateful for the job and worked hard, coming in early, leaving late and making sure the floors and toilets sparkled (well, as much as gas station toilets can sparkle, what with all those strange stains maid by who-knows-what, but I’m pretty sure it’s from the cheese they put on the nachos—never eat that cheese…). It was beCAUSE I focused on my job and went above and beyond what I was asked to do that I was allowed to work longer hours, usually against policy.

My attitude was, this was my bosses store. I respected my boss, was grateful for the work he gave me and so I did everything I could to make him and the store look good to the area managers. That was my real job—to make my boss look good to his boss.

That in turn secured me regular raises which helped my family survive over the next two years until my father and siblings also found work.

So the moral of this story is—if you want a raise, give your boss a reason to give you a raise, instead of a reason for firing your butt!


Remember your ancestors

One of the most common irritations I see is the abuse and lack of respect towards the elderly. The very generation who provided these current opportunities for us.

They provided freedom, provided the infrastructure for the industries that provide us jobs, food, clothing, automobiles. People who sacrificed over and over again (and sometimes their very lives) so we could have the blessings we now enjoy…and we treat them ill?

What the hell is wrong with us?!?

What you might not realize is when you show a measure of respect to those around you, it solidifies bonds, strengthens friendships and relationships, while building confidence to new levels and depths.

If anyone in this world deserve a measure of your respect and mine, it would be our parents, grandparents and those who have come before us. In many instances, they paid the price, so we didn’t have to.


Don’t forget #1

There’s another aspect of respect—one most people miss…and that’s respecting yourself.

Don’t sink to levels below your character. Consider the language you use, the way you treat others…and how that builds impressions in other minds around you. A good character, once lost is a hard thing to rebuild.

Respecting yourself also means taking a stand against others walking over you. I’m not talking about what you may not like, so much and someone morally or ethically stepping beyond their bounds (see people without ‘class’ above, a.k.a buttheads and idiots).

A good example would be your boss asking you to do something within your job description that you may not enjoy, as opposed to asking you to do something illegal or immoral and threatening you with consequences if you don’t comply.

It’s not an ‘I won’t take any shit’, but rather, ‘I will not allow myself to be abused’ even if you ARE scared or fear the consequences.

Here’s a helpful tip…

You can be kind and still be strong, firm and unrelenting. Know your bounds and learn the bounds of others.

Those two things will provide a great measure of strength and confidence to deal with bullies and those desiring to take advantage of you.


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