So I seem to have run into a wall for my next blog post. I have actually started 2 or 3 other blog posts so far and have been unable to finish them to my own satisfaction. Either I feel like they don’t have enough content or that they need more thought before I post them for the world to see. So, in the mean time, any suggestions for topics to write about?
So death has struck closer to home recently then it has in the past. I have been fortunate in life to still have all my grandparents, both of my parents, and all of my close relatives. Till 2 days ago, death had stayed a very respectable distance away, just affecting friends of friends and the like. Yesterday though, I found out that a friend from Boy Scouts, his daughter passed away from SIDS in her sleep. There are many aspects to this passing that directly affect me.
One is that he is a year younger than I am. It is scary in the first place to imagine someone about my age already having a child. Almost seems foreign to me, but I know that is only because I am not accustomed to it due to most of the people I hang with are in college and are very careful not to have to deal with children until their studies are over. So young and already with a child, someone that you will care about more than anything else in the world. I can’t imagine already being in that position in my life. I know that I would handle the situation well if it were thrust upon me, but I don’t want to be in that situation for a while. That kind of responsibility can be so so scary.
Another aspect of the situation is that I grew up with this guy. Someone I spent a lot of time with is suddenly having to experience one of the greatest griefs a person could experience, having to bury your own child. I believe there are many movies that mention this greatest of griefs. There is a moment in Lord of the Rings where the King of Rohan says “A father shouldn’t ever have to bury their own son.” I completely agree with King Theoden!
Lastly, the death being Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is probably the worst part about it. From a parent’s point of view, you want to know that you did everything you could to try to keep your child, your greatest joy, alive. SIDS doesn’t really give you that opportunity. There isn’t anything you can do about it, and the child just passes away in their sleep. I am sure that it is rather devastating to see your child pass away, but it must be even worse knowing that there was NOTHING you could have done to change the situation.
Maybe someday I will find a way to change all of that, but it isn’t likely. Instead, I am just going to probably attend the burial of my friend’s child and hoe against everything that I am NEVER in the same situation at any point in my life.
Sometimes one just has to wear a mask to hide behind. It isn’t a conscious decision, but it is one that seems to be made on a regular basis by many. Some debate if our new president is hiding behind the mask that got him elected instead of showing his true colors, but only time will tell if such is the case. It is too bad people must hide behind a tough exterior sometimes, but everyone does what they have to so that the world will accept them.
I would discuss the subject further, but I have no other opinions on it other than it is used by many people. Wish it weren’t, but everyone does what they have to do.
Respect is something that we all seem to crave even if we aren’t willing to admit that fact to ourselves. It isn’t respect which we might have for others that we desire, it is respect for ourselves coming from others. This sounds weird when put into words, and also has a little “well duh” factor to it, but the interesting part is that it is totally true (of course this is just in my personal opinion and life experiences).
When Madoff made everyone rethink who and a little of how people invest their money with other people, there was a headline that caught my eye regarding this. Basically Madoff took the personal funds that people chose to invest in him and screwed all of his customers over. That is of course the very simplified version of what the man did, but what he did to people by abusing his own paying customers’ trust is not the focus of this post. Madoff commanded a level of respect that other investors in the field did not. As a result the little man investors would put all their customers’ portfolios in Madoff’s hands thinking it was safe because, after all, Madoff had the respect of the industry and I believe the quote I heard was “everyone was investing in Madoff” but I don’t recall the source of that… it might have just been on the evening news while I was home over the holidays. The headline that caught my eye was regarding the financial adviser that committed suicide because of Madoff’s mistakes and manipulation of others. The man committed suicide because he didn’t see a way to regain the respect of his peers and/or customers.
Why is it that respect commanded so much power over this investor’s life that he would give up his life because he felt that he could no longer receive respect from others? What is it about respect that causes us to strive for it? Why do we value respect above many other facets of life?
Respect is something that I have, through some personal introspection, found I strive for in life. Commanding the respect of one’s peers greatly changes your leadership role within that group. With respect, one’s opinion becomes more valuable in a group, mentoring, team, or pretty much any other role. I hope to command some respect for my opinions I place on this blog, regardless of how random they might seem. It is a hope, but not a must of course!
Benefits of respect? If you gain respect than it is less likely that your opinions will be questioned as mentioned before. It also means that those who respect you are easier to ask things of, such as a favor or help with understanding something. Commanding respect in a work place could mean that it is easier to get your way when trying to accomplish something the way you think best fits the way it SHOULD be done. Having peers who respect you in a class could mean they turn to you for help with the subject. Being respected by those who care about you is necessary for such a relationship to be considered loving. Without someone respecting your capabilities in a relationship, how could it be a mutually beneficial one?
Cons to respect? The higher you are, the harder you fall. Not quite the typical take on that phrase, but is close enough for this purpose. If you are well respected, and you do something which doesn’t warrant that respect, it is more likely to be scrutinized than if you didn’t command respect in the first place. Determines a little bit how a person acts in the company of good friends versus how a person acts in the company of total strangers. Want to gain the strangers respect, you are courteous and kind and only speaking up when you think it wise to do so. Want to keep the respect of those you already know, you might be careful about what you say, but you are not quite as worried about weighing your words.
The scrutiny one receives due to having such respect can cause the lose of that said respect. The investor who took his life because of Madoff’s decisions is a prime example of this. He made the poor decision of not diversifying the funds that he was trusted with by his customers and so he lost the respect that his customers held for him (along with their money). In my life, I find that respect is almost an equally important facet of my life. I find myself consciously and unconsciously seeking it from others. It is almost a craving, and at times it scares me to recognize it in myself. I am not, however, saying that commanding respect is a bad thing and a flaw of mine. I am simply saying that the craving and overvaluing of it is. Something for me to work on and make sure it doesn’t become an overpowering force that begins to lead to poor decisions.