Thursday, June 07, 2007

Honor and Respect

We was traveling home one morning from Sunday services, me in the back seat while grandma was sitting next to grandpa as he held the reins of the horse drawn wagon. I was thinking of the lesson in my Sunday school class on the subject of honor thy mother and father. Tis a word I had not heard used much and I asked this question, " grandpa, how is honor different from respect?"

Grandpa turned and smiled at me and said, "tis a good question, boy for they are two words that should guide us through life. Honor and respect are principles recognizing the person as they are. They both recognize that each person possesses a philosophy of life. They also recognize judgment will be determined not only by whether or not a person abides by his own principles but also by the principles of others. In the recognition of a person as they are, position in a society must also be considered. Relationship to others is another consideration of recognizing a person as they are.

From the above descriptions we can declare that honor is respect at its highest level. By the same token we can declare that contempt is respect at its lowest level. In between those levels we have respect and disrespect of different levels. By the amount of respect we show or should show then determines our ranking of another or others as well as our ranking of ourselves.

The simplest way to differentiate the application of honor or respect is to say we honor those above us and show respect to our peers or those below us. We can then break it down by the amount of responsibility a person possesses or by the amount of knowledge or wisdom they possess. In other words we are comparing another to ourselves in some way. Our philosophy of life will determine the criteria that we use to judge.

The only problem here is that emotions may blind us to reality of what a person really is. Emotions may also blind us in regards to seeing ourselves as we are or as we should see ourselves. When that happens we live in a perception of reality rather than reality itself.

Behavior is the primary means we use to judge another, and while it may be the best way, it too may mislead us. For people will behave solely for the purpose of creating a false image of themselves. Politicians are the best example of this that comes to mind at the moment.

Honor or respect are attributes to be earned, boy, never given. It is how we live our lives that determine whether or not we deserve to be honored or respected. There is two persons that I will tell you to beware of and one person is the one who will tell you that he only respects those who respects him. The other person to beware of is the person who will tell you that he respects every man until he has proven he doesn't deserve it. This is just a variation of the first one in terms of that individual. And both are signs of arrogance and self-rightiousness."

With this said grandpa went quiet as he guided the horses into the driveway to our house.

I just sat there pondering his words along with thinking of the tasty vittles that I knew grandma would prepare for our Sunday picnic.



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