I read an article the other day about how a family was asked to leave a restaurant because their kids were apparently running all over the place disturbing everyone else. At some point, the determination was made that the lack of discipline in the lives of the children was impacting the community of diners attempting to enjoy a meal. After the family was ejected from the restaurant the mother’s response was, “I feel disrespected.” She was referring to the restaurant, not the kids.
I have also read recently where an NFL player was angry at his coach following a loss and had “choice words” for the coach. The justification is that they were used to winning and now, because they were losing, the player was right to be confrontational with the coach.
We can’t demand respect when we don’t know how to show it. There is nothing in people who will rise up to show us the respect we want when our choices make it clear that there is no offering of respect towards others. When we withhold respect from others (in the example above, by allowing our kids to terrorize a restaurant), it not only shows that we don’t respect others but also that we don’t respect ourselves.
Honor is not contingent on whether or not we are winning or losing. Honor is a reflection of our character, not a contingency dependent on our approval of the circumstances at hand. Whether we are “winning” or “losing” and no matter whether we agree with the authority in a given situation, honor dictates our interactions when we are mature in our character. Just because we’re right doesn’t mean we have to be heard.
When we feel disrespected or choose dishonor, the question to answer is what within us is deficient enough to allow for that emotion or choice? What is so self-focused that we are then forced into a defensive response to the stimulus which caused the offense? If we deal with the issue within us, the honor and respect which stems from our effort will not only flow from us but also back to us.