While driving with Chris to his family's home in Ohio a few weeks ago, we had a long discussion about what qualities we respect in a person. I never realized how stringent my standards were in order for me to respect someone. Don't get me wrong, I like a lot of people, and admire many qualities I see. But "admire" and "respect" have different connotations in my mind. Admire seems more synonymous with approval or appreciation; respect is a much stronger word, meaning to look up to someone, and to hold them in high honor. I admire a good number of people, but I respect few.
I respect people who:
...have positive, strong leadership abilities to guide others in wisdom, yet are humble and willing to accept advice.
...go out of their way to help and mentor others.
...seek to improve their knowledge, understanding, and skills in meaningful ways.
...know what they want to accomplish in life, and work with all their might to achieve their goals.
Those I esteem most, I desire to emulate. But how do I know if my guidelines are too strict? Am I looking for a hero? I don't think so. I just want to find men and women who are honorable, strong-willed, determined, creative, and thoughtful.
Not as easy as it seems. They're out there, but you have to look to find them.