Respect and Admiration

“You can easily judge the character of a man by how he treats those who can do nothing for him.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The relationship between being respected and admired is complicated, intertwined, but still discernible. When engaging with another person, they deserve respect. Potential, lifestyle, career, or relationships; nothing matters when it comes to this. Everyone deserves to be treated in same way, in this manner. It doesn’t matter what they can do for you. The only thing that matters, when it comes to respect, is the measure of your character. Anyone who strives to be respected, does not understand what it means to deserve respect.

“It is to the credit of human nature that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates.” –Nathaniel Hawthorne

Although it sounds petty, something the people in my circles are consistently grateful for, is the scope of our literary knowledge. There are frequent conversations about the great writers of times past. The language, the love, the understanding, and the etiquette. We constantly evaluate, empathize, and seek to refine ourselves. Although times and customs change, they give insight into what it means to exist, be respected, or be admired. A conversation on this over the weekend is why this is being written. As young professionals, we’re working on who we want to be. We do this through evaluating the traits and people we admire.

“Empowered persons, calm and in order and untouchable peace.” –Nancy Hale

On the other hand, admiration is completely different from respect. You don’t have to admire people in power. You don’t have to admire the great writers. You don’t have to admire anyone. When you give someone your admiration, you respect someone so much, you fall in love with part of them. You recognize their presence is life changing.

“We cannot live better than in seeking to become better.” –Socrates

Who do you admire? Is it a mentor you’d like to become, a family member, your soulmate? No matter who it is, you respect them, but it’s more than that. They inspired you. They ignited the fire that lives inside you. Your feeling is important and essential. Admiration is something no one can extract, or even ask, from you. It’s only yours to give, but it’s about someone else. It’s about a connection to the soul of your future self.

“There is an innocence in admiration: it occurs in one who has not yet realized that they might one day be admired.” –Friedrich Nietzsche

Don’t ever stop being inspired. Someday, when you’re admired by others, make damn sure you have enough character to deserve it.

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