January 20, 2014

When I Say NO!

What does it mean to "honor" someone?

Dictionary.com informs us that honor is a noun, a verb and an adjective! 

What is Honor, the noun? It is "honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: a man of honor."  It goes on to higher distinctions but for today's post, that's all the noun we need!

Verb "honor" is all over the map, from a simple show of respect to on-your-knees worship, as in a Supreme Being or Johnny Depp!

I'm going to whittle it down to the basic; simply "show a courteous regard for " which Dictionary.com lists as definition # 17.

"to show a courteous regard for"

Seems pretty clear and simple.

To show a courteous regard for......

How do we do that in the real world?

One of the things taught to young girls and women as a tool of self-worth and for self-protection is to always be aware of the people around you. Do those people regard you with honor, do they display respect for you? Do they regard others with honor and respect?

The book Gift of Fear describes a story about a young woman carrying her groceries up the stairs to her apartment. A stranger approached her, he was also climbing the stairs. He put his hands out and told her he would carry a bag for her. She said "No."  He showed a total disregard for her by insisting, and she finally relented. She didn't want to be rude or hurt his feelings. He eventually raped her.

She said "No."

He insisted on having his way.

She capitulated in spite of his total disregard for her and her word. He was the one who displayed discourteous behavior, yet she was the one who didn't want to be rude, so, as we good girls are taught to do, she folded.

I know that this example was pretty extreme. I could have kept it to a spoiled adolescent who wants to attend a sleep-over and Mom says, "No!"  Adolescent says, "Yes!" and "Why" and keeps it up until Mom buckles under the pressure or insists the child go to her room.

When we make a decision and give voice to it, yet another person ignores it and persists in having  their way does that show honor? Is that a courteous regard for us or our feelings? Is that someone we should be in a relationship with? 

If I buckle under the pressure of "not being nice" instead of holding to my convictions and I get hurt again, is that wound not my own fault? Is it "not nice" to hold people to simple respectful expectations?

If I've hurt someone, broke a trust or crossed a line, what consequences can I expect?  

Adjective:pertaining to or noting honor.

Noun: missing
Verb:  missing
Adjective: missing

How does Dictionary.com define "friend"? "...a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard."  "Personal Regard."  Seems to me there should be a little "honor" in that phrase.

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