The word of the day shall be “honor”.
Rather old-fashioned type of word, sitting on a dusty shelf with “respect” and “courtesy”. I guess as a child I attached honor with “honor thy mother and father” and at the time that seemed entirely too inflexible and unreasonable. Or…”respect your elders”, challenged my sense of young vs. old and immediately induced a rebellious attitude. Courtesy was a “be seen and not heard” word and I had SO much to say. How could I like a word that demanded my silence when I had millions of questions?
But now after almost 56 years of honoring my mother and father, respecting my elders and being courteous to the point of internal combustion, I find there are two sides to everything, including words ….no….especially words.
Honor is earned by speaking, behaving and treating others honorably.
Respect is earned by speaking, behaving and treating others respectfully.
Courtesy is earned by speaking, behaving and treating others courteously.
When I fall off the honor, respect and courtesy wagon, I can hear my childhood elders clicking their tongues, see them shaking their heads in a “no-no” back and forth motion and pointing their fingers directly into my now blackened Soul. Guilt grips my throat like the ever-elusive Jack The Ripper (who must surely walk the borders between Earth and Hell). Shame ricochets ‘round my heart as micro-demons whisper “loser! loser! loser!” in my one good ear.
STOP! Did I fall off the wagon … or was I pushed? Oh-Ha! A question … one of those millions of questions I wasn’t allowed to ask so long ago! Honor, respect and courtesy are not unconditional. Some days I’m strong enough to remain honorable, respectable and courteous when I’m being spit on, some days I’m not.
Some days I spit back …. venomously.