Anne Notations

Monday, March 08, 2010

What goes around

My friend Neil wrote on his blog a while back:

Who is honored? He who honors others. This is generally understood to mean that you get back what you give; treating others with respect breeds them treating you respectfully in return. A different take on this just dawned on me. It appears to me that you innately become a person of dignity through treating others in a respectful manner. It is not just quid pro quo…. It's deeper, you become dignified inside.

This is an arresting concept, and it rings true. Some of the loveliest – and most successful – people I know are dignified in just this manner.

Conversely, I have known highly placed folks who cloak themselves in self-importance, yet are diminished by treating others disrespectfully. "Classless" is a word that comes to mind. Surely this is not how they would like to be remembered.

Here is a photo from my friend Deb. This large and elegant trumpeter swan appears to have lost his rudder (not to mention his dignity) temporarily. "Whoahh-hhhhhhhhhhh!" Love the splayed feet and tipsy wings!

Even the proud and mighty fall, and not always gracefully. I hope if and when they do, they are reminded that we're all only human. In our short and bumpy lives, treating one another – even "the least of these" – as we ourselves hope to be treated goes a long way toward cushioning hard landings.


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