A Show of Respect Breeds Dignity
Have you ever had the kind of friend that really matters. I don’t necessarily mean the friends that have been there through it all with you or that you see every day … because we know the immense value of those friends and obviously they matter so much to us. The type of friend I’m referring to could be the friend you see every day, but we can have friends we love that are frustrating and negative at times and so the ‘model’ for compassion and patience in your life may not necessarily be the people who you see regularly.
I’m referring to a person that matters because they exist in the world. Something about them provides you with so much hope for a kind world because they’re everything you’d want people to be. You think of them before you’re about to flip the bird to some inconsiderate driver on the road and decide against it. On your worse days, you are comforted by the fact that there are truly good people out there because you’ve seen pure goodness firsthand. Sure, this friend will be good to you like any one of your other friends but you recognize that they’re good FOR the world, because they can’t help but raise the bar for humanity. They innately know that the grimacing, rude woman in the building only needs a kind word. This friend knows that it may take a few months but the woman’s pain is contained by nothing more than a thin shell of misery that can be defeated by kindness (or at least said friend won’t quit trying). That friend brightens up the day for the building doorman who looks forward to the pleasant exchange. They make the Starbucks staff wish that all regulars were that patient and respectful. They meet the eyes of the beggar on the street and smile with a “good morning” … whether or not there is money on that day … because a show of respect breeds dignity and the will to go on. That friend is the epitome of civility and has a general love for human beings, even the ones that can be quite ugly inside – such as the person looking at the beggar with disgust and contempt.
They’re walking billboards of what humans should strive to be. They’re sunshine tearing through any thick darkness of the human condition. They wipe their forehead, plowing even the rockiest earth, but pushing through with the occasional “Whew! That was a tough one but I got it!” When faced with adversity this friend just gets stronger and kinder and more compassionate.
Today I want that friend in my life to get what she wants. That is my want for the day.