In my early years I’ve been looking up at grownups who seemed to have it together. I know how easy it is to fall into the pattern of hierarchical respect and, cruelly enough, self-respect. This happens when we embrace the path ahead as the path of least resistance that often our influencing figures – parents, professors, managers – walked on.
But if you take a step back and fast-forward your life ten years from now, does it look like something worth sacrificing your time for? Perhaps there are really good examples in your life – still, does that repetition and predetermined trajectory trigger any satisfaction within you? How about a satisfaction that goes beyond the initial excitement? Does that satisfaction contain any regret?
‘The humbleness of a warrior is not the humbleness of the beggar. The warrior lowers his head to no one, but at the same time, he doesn’t permit anyone to lower his head to him’ Carlos Castaneda
Far too often we allow social expectations of lowering our heads to be put on us and we circulate them down through any stream of influence we ‘own’:
The report is ME -> them or me -> THEM
- ->child: You’ll have to respect me weather you like it or not.
- ->grownup child, still child: Show some respect.
- Junior role->: Respectfully, I would like to apologize…
- Mid-management->: You have my deepest appreciation…
- Senior management->: I will humbly accept the criticism.
‘The beggar, on the other hand, falls to his knees at the drop of a hat and scrapes the floor to anyone he deems to be higher; but at the same time, he demands that someone lower than him scrape the floor for him’ Carlos Castaneda
We gain dignity through belittling the dis-empowered and we bow our heads at the smallest clue of immediate benefits. We trade a currency which is only accepted between beggars and when the pluses override the minuses we walk tall and demand the respect of a warrior. A warrior can lose many things in life, but it can never lose self-respect.