I’ve been thinking this week about the concept of ‘respect’.
It’s a word that we bandy around often, usually with the addition of wine and a few tuneless renditions of the song R-E-S-P-E-C-T slurred in for good measure.
I can think of people for whom I have little to zero respect
However, what does it really mean to you? And do you have it for yourself?
Much of this depends upon your definition of it.
The dictionary version is ‘a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements, or due regard for the feelings of others’.
I can think of many colleagues, relations, and friends for whom I certainly have the deepest respect.
People who inspire me, who work hard for the things in life that truly matter to them, and others who have overcome seemingly insurmountable hardships to get to where they are.
On the other hand, I can think of people for whom I have little to zero respect.
I’ve been trying to figure out why this is, and generally it links to their own lack of respect for themselves and others.
It seems that not everyone in life has true standards to live by, achieving little and living simply off the backs of others.
And, in any day and age, is that really respectable?
I’ve done things in the past that I’ve felt ashamed of, as have most of us, and I’m sure I will again.
That’s human fallible nature.
But I certainly try to be true to myself and true to those around me.
Once upon a time, when I saw people leading lives and living relationships or friendships that I knew were founded in falsehood, I used to be open-mouthed at their ability to kid themselves.
However, nowadays, and with more maturity, I am inclined to feel a sheer and complete relief that this need never be me, as I’d rather be alone than false to myself.
And, I suppose, this is exactly what we mean by respecting ourselves.
It is living a life that is true, openly admiring others who do likewise, and striving, though not always succeeding, to achieve.
But at least we try.
I FELT A SENSE OF ACHIEVEMENT AT MILKING SOME CASHEW NUTS
Last week I purchased the Deliciously Ella cookbook.
Ella Woodward is a sugar and everything else-free cook, who glows from the inside out.
She must also be printing her own currency, because raw cacao powder and medjool dates don’t come cheap.
Because of Ella, and her glow, I found myself, on my day off, milking cashew nuts.
My friend, Anne, enquired as to whether this was even a legal process, but I felt quite a sense of achievement for managing to milk something without teats.
I’ve no idea whether or not The News will print that last sentence, but I’m laughing to myself anyway at the thought of it in the hopeful (perhaps naïve) expectation that they do.
THE PAST IS SAFE, BECAUSE IT’S ALREADY TUCKED AWAY IN US
I saw the school that I went to on Facebook last week, with photographs of the Upper 6th students on their Leavers’ Day.
The nostalgia of this, when viewed through the spectacles of time with the rose tint (come on, you know you have them, they’re tucked away in your subconscious for a rainy day), filled me with both a sense of happiness, yet also melancholy.
Why? Because those young faces, full of expectation and dreams, were not so different to the class of 1995 when I was a leaver.
But that was 21 years ago and time goes by so fast.
The future is such a frightening concept because it’s unknown.
Yet the past is so safe, because we have already tucked it away inside ourselves.