Monday, February 22, 2010
I once attended an awards luncheon in which a presenter, frustrated by the audience’s whispered mumbles and occasional cell phone beeps, raised her voice and curtly asked, “Could I get your respect, please?”
She didn’t receive our respect that day. She did, however, manage to silence the crowd with that question, but as far as garnering any venerability, I can safely tell you she did not.
Now, don’t get me wrong. One of my pet peeves is a noisy audience, but I’ve attended plenty of functions and know that there are better ways in which to settle a crowd.
I learned a long time ago that those who ask for respect are generally the ones who don’t deserve it. Certain people feel entitled to it because of their job, their economic status, or the art they create. They hide behind the façade of particular titles, letting those titles define who they are.
I don’t respect the manager who loses his temper and belittles his employee. I respect the employee who continues to plug away at the job, pleased with the product she creates, refusing to let the manager’s harsh words affect her.
I don’t respect the group of wealthy, suburban soccer moms who allow their children to wreak havoc in restaurants following a game. I respect the busboy who cleans up after them.
I don’t respect the performer who becomes angry when the audience doesn’t “get” the message he’s trying to convey. I respect the performer who gives it his all every night and is grateful for his audience and for the opportunity to perform.
No one is entitled to respect. Everyone has the opportunity to deserve it, though.
Image Consultant/Life Coach
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