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Respect, Honor, Loyalty

May 26, 2014

TroyNealeyThree words that represent values everyone says they want, but too few model. As everyone, hopefully, stops today to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day think about the words.

They’re just words. But are they? Words lead to action. And actions are declining, leading to reactions. Many lament “what is wrong with the world today?” How about fostering – and restoring – what is right?

How about allowing a difference of opinion other than your own. Is it life altering if someone drinks milk rather than soda, or eats vegan meals rather than grilling burgers today?


n. noun
  1. A feeling of appreciative, often deferential regard; esteem.

  2. The state of being regarded with honor or esteem.

  3. Willingness to show consideration or appreciation.

Respect used to be shown in many ways. Many make fun of those OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAespecially in the south who say sir or ma’am – but that is respect. Connor never passes an opportunity to walk up to someone with a hat or other indication of military and thank them – and it doesn’t matter if they’re 20 or 80. Respect. Stand up when the flag goes by in a parade, both feet square, hand over heart or salute during the national anthem.

Respect is lacking – it affects how we treat others. If you respect someone, stealing or throwing trash on their property won’t happen. If you respect someone you don’t lie or cheat them be it money or credit for something they did.


1. High respect, as that shown for special merit; esteem: the honor shown to a Nobel laureate.

a. Good name; reputation.
b. A source or cause of credit: was an honor to the profession.


a. Glory or recognition; distinction.
b. A mark, token, or gesture of respect or distinction: the place of honor at the table.
c. A military decoration.
d. A title conferred for achievement.

Honor is bound to respect more than in just words. When we honor someone we can’t treat them poorly. Even if we disagree, because in cheating them, we are really cheating ourselves. If we mar the name or reputation of someone else, it’s not a good thing. Maybe someone has done something wrong…or wronged you. Maybe it’s serious, maybe it’s an inconvenience.

In either way, people make mistakes. Forgive them. Dishonoring someone says as much about you as it does them…life is too short.


Loyalty is faithfulness or a devotion to a person, country, group, or cause.

Loyalty remains, and is often harnessed with respect and/or honor. Loyalty is having someone’s back – and if they’re wrong pointing it out privately with respect, not damaging them with public insults.

While definitions can seem like so much playing with words, having it taught from early in life instills it. Today’s world seems to want these things but celebrates, too often, those who exemplify anything but these traits.

I remember Troy every day. His photo sits above my desk. He treated people with respect – even in disagreement.

Going forward this year, renew a means to live by these three words. It costs you nothing but rewards much.

And it makes you a better person, no matter what the other person does or doesn’t do.

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