“We honor ourselves by living in commitment to our beliefs, values, and behaviors toward those who come into our lives for whatever reason.”
For those who didn’t catch the announcement on Facebook, I had a crash on my bike this past Saturday. A car unexpectedly made a right turn just in front of me and I couldn’t stop in time to avoid hitting him. Other than a scare, a scratch on the car, and a little twist to my handlebars all was ok. This was my first wreck. Thank goodness it was minor.
I would love to report I responded to this incident appropriately. Instead of calmly stepping off my bike and assessing the situation with grace, I threw into a bit of a rant at the driver for his unfortunate mistake. My choice of words, plus the volume and intensity of my tone were very inappropriate and unnecessary. I could attempt to justify my actions and say the driver deserved what he received because of his stupidity; but, in truth, we all make mistakes and no one deserves to be treated inappropriately, especially in light of an unintended mistake. Every one of us would appreciate it if our mistakes were handled with grace and dignity, not a tongue lashing. I didn’t do a very good job of honoring the situation, period.
Though I might be able to defend my actions in light of what happened, nothing justifies handling a situation in a manner that dishonors those involved. Which brings me to my thought for the week.
We know what are correct, appropriate, and necessary behaviors, actions, or responses. Regardless of what others do, whether others care, or even if others honor what they know is correct, it is not how we define what we do. We do what do because we know what is honorable and right. What is appropriate is how we define our behaviors, regardless of the circumstances or the popular trend.
We know what the rules, regulations, expectations, processes, and behaviors are for our lives. Whether others follow them, display them, appreciate them, or respect them does not excuse us from living in honor to them. We know what we stand for and what our value system is. That is our commitment and our yardstick for our behaviors and actions. By living in honor to this commitment at work, in society, in relationships, or with our friends we are honoring what we know is correct, appropriate, and respectful. We are always responsible for living in honor. When we do not honor others, we are not honoring ourselves. It is that simple.
Just because everyone around us is rude, or drives poorly, or doesn’t stay late to finish projects at work, does not mean we are excused from these responsibilities–we are not. If your children said, “every one else is doing it?” what would your response be? Just because everyone else is not living with honor, does not mean you are excused from living with honor.
I had every reason to be upset at the person who made an abrupt right turn into my bike yesterday. He knew he made a mistake and he felt bad about it. I dishonored myself and him by displaying my anger for the mistake. It may be understandable, but it is not acceptable. Nothing excuses me from behaving with grace and honor towards another person. I know what is right, what is appropriate, and what my commitment is. That is how I live my life regardless of the circumstances.
Honor yourself by honoring others. Lead the way and avoid following the trend. Your standard becomes the example and an exception to much of the norm. Have a great week!
Interesting side note: I had planned on this subject today before I watched a segment of Joel Osteen. Amazingly enough, his talk was about the same thing — Show Honor. This provides a wonderful perspective on this subject. I hope you will take the time to watch.