Question of the Day – No. 513

By Troy Headrick

I believe that we get from others what we give to them.  In other words, if you show others kindness, you’re apt to get kindness in return.  On the other hand, if you treat others disrespectfully, you’re likely to be disrespected quite frequently.

What is one thing you believe?  I look forward to reading your responses. 

Troy Headrick’s personal blog can be found here.

57 thoughts on “Question of the Day – No. 513

  1. We respect ourselves, the way we are not expecting others to understand us fully nor accept their vision as being right about us always. In short not putting up to be something so that we get approval.

      1. I cant say that alone can make your life important , importance to life comes from living for others but to do that you need to believe to chase what you are best at, being what you truly are only then you can make your part.yes self love and self respect will help you through the path.

  2. Very true in many scenarios. The exceptions are people who have anger issues or other mental health issues where no matter what we present to them, they react from their own inner dialogue. I have found it important to learn to recognize these individuals and not beat myself up while thinking I have done or said something wrong!

      1. I think we can see that easily in some people! 😊 I do believe however that becoming aware of other people’s realities apart from our own helps us to gracefully and kindly navigate interactions!

  3. I believe that anything is possible with hard work and not giving up. Over the past year, I have been diagnosed and lost my job due to an incident that occurred due to PTSD. I realized that everything happens for a reason. I have put in the hard work to make myself a better person to myself and my family. PTSD is not just in the military. I have been a firefighter and paramedic for over 30 years. The things I have seen and have experienced should not have gone ignored. I admit I have created my own monsters. But that is how things have been for years for public safety professionals.

    I point this out since we have millions of public safety professionals currently taking on a pandemic. They are watching people die using all their skills and resources. How will take care of them when the time comes?

    1. Good morning, ksag3. Thanks so much for sharing your story about your amazing public service. I certainly can understand how much of what you’ve seen and experienced can be very traumatic. Like you, I think doctors and nurses and other “frontline” workers are true heroes during this period of great sickness. I hope this period teaches us that we’re all in this together. It seems that our social bonds have frayed some. I hope these shared challenges can help us come together and build empathy.

      Like you, I’m a pretty determined person. I, too, believe that hard work and deterimination can take a person far in life.

      By the way, I looked at your blog yesterday and plan to return today to do more reading. I think people here would be interested in your writing. Why not leave a link so more people can more easily find your website?

      Thanks so much for your comment and your public service.

  4. Well, feeling a bit simple today (as many days), but really, other than a continuing attempt at not being a jerk (failing, often), my only real ‘standard’ or firm belief is that I don’t do married people. Yes, I said ‘do’, which dates me..unlike married people. So many situations and beliefs can change along the way, that it’s very difficult to have one rigid belief in anything. The one standard is one I can say won’t change because it’s very deeply rooted in me. Other beliefs I can’t take a firm stand on, because of infinite variables, you see? Perhaps this question of yours would be easier for someone who had a strong religious orientation, as the whole giving of oneself to a belief would already be part of their outlook? I believe I shall think about this some more. 🙂

    1. Hi. I always enjoy your insightful comments. I totally get what you’re saying. Like you, I am not a terribly religious person. And, like you, I understand how complex moral questions and situations can be. For example, having traveled and lived in multiple countries has taught me that “right” and “wrong’ are often culturally determined. Understanding all this has helped me be less judgmental. Do you find that you’re less judgmental too?

      Thanks so much for your comment. You’ve got me thinking more about all this.

  5. Troy, my belief is that defining a standard of conduct and living by it is essential to a happy life regardless of how others respond. When you are comfortable with your own actions — and really that’s all one can control — you can present yourself to others with peace, grace and confidence and raise up your corner of the world.

    In this context, I understand comfort but not necessarily “self love.” The latter to me denotes hubris and excess, the sins of “the former guy” and not something I’d want.

    1. Hi, Vic. You sound like a very wise guy. I totally agree with what you’re saying and think you’ve sort of helped me verbalize an important component of m own belief system. I think you’re suggesting that a person needs to decided what sort of human being her or she wants to be and then to live accordingly. A person needs to figure out his or her value system and then stay true to it. What a wonderfully important insight to share! And you are right, we can only control those things that we have agency over. I truly appreciate your contribution to this very interesting conversation.

      1. The corollary is that a person who has not declared who they are can be a very unstable life partner or coworker. If you’re going to depend on someone, you need that person to be a rock, not sand.

      2. My thinking is perfectly in line with yours, Vic. An unstable, changeable, wishy-wishy person makes the worst sort of life partner, business partner, etc. I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t change their minds after getting more education, examining the facts, and then making informed reappraisals. Being changeable is sometimes justified if it’s informed changeability. Here’s the only quandry about this line of thinking. What if a person declares that he is committed to the values of making others pay, of victimizing the weak, and such, and then lives accordingly. What can we do with such a person? He or she is being “true” to his or her values but the values suck.

        Definite food for thought.

      3. My initial thought is that if you know a person is like that, then you can avoid them to the extent possible. Regarding what I wrote, people can make superficial changes (jobs, homes, favorite movies) but core values should be largely static. A person needs a solid answer to “who are you?” that isn’t buried in trivial details. “Who are you?” isn’t about age, gender, work, kids or the car one drives.

      4. Yes. If you find a person with solid integrity, then you’ve found a person who can be counted on. Superficial traits are of minor importance. Focusing on the superficial is like getting a new paint job for a car that doesn’t have an engine.

    1. Hi, E. L. Jayne. Hmmm…I’ll have to think about that. I see much randomness in the world, so much suffering by so many people. I’ll need to think further about that. I do believe that it’s impossible to see “the big picture” but then I wonder if there is a big picture. I sometimes think it helps us feel better to see the world as a place where everything “makes sense.” You’ve got me thinking and that was the purpose of this little thought experiment. Thanks for your comment. I’m also thinking about your question and will write a response today.

      1. That’s true, it’s hard to explain suffering and terrible acts that occur. Maybe the adage that everything happens for a reason is a sort of solace for me and others who say the same. It’s definitely impossible to see the big picture, even if we don’t know what that is. But I think it’s important that there is a bigger picture than just ourselves and the little world we occupy in our own mind. Maybe that’s another way of solace. There’s always lots of ways my mind goes with this…

      2. You’re like me. You don’t know what you don’t know, and you know that you don’t know enough. We are seekers. Seekers are afraid of certitude because there is so many places to explore, so many ways of thinking that haven’t yet been tested, so many ideas that have been considered. Some people would feel uncomfortable about uncertainty. But I’ve learned to be comfortable with uncertainty. After all, what do we really have control over? What do we really know about the future? Think about how many old “truths” you’ve already questioned or abandoned.

    2. As you say, perhaps it’s just not a reason we can see right now, nor one that happens for a *good* reason, nor one that we will become known in our lifetime?

    1. I think I have a similar belief. I believe that treating others well will eventually come back in a good way, and treating others badly is self-defeating. Some might call what I’m talking about “karma.” Maybe that’s an apt descriptor. Thanks for your comment.

  6. Hmmm… Don’t think so. Might be more true in a village. Much less so in a large, mostly anonymous, urban environment.

    I won’t say that treating others with kindness and respect won’t improve your odds of reciprocity. But I don’t think it is a general rule to count on. I grew up being told repeatedly I had to earn them, implying they were like wages for services rendered.

    Your kindness costs something, else it wouldn’t be kindness. Your respect puts you at risk of being taken advantage of. Give them away too easily and you get the reputation of being an easy touch – maybe even a sucker. Being kind and respectful is only reasonable if is inherently rewarding to you and it doesn’t matter to you if those feelings are returned.

    Don’t do unto others that which is hateful to do unto you. That is my version of kindness and respect to strangers.

    1. Absolutely. Truly kind acts are never done with the idea that kindness is going to be returned. I’m old enough and was raised in such a way that focused on inculcating the idea that I should do “the right thing” no matter what the cost or situation. I’ll share an interesting story with you. Back in the mid-90s, I decided to join the Peace Corps and was sent abroad to do humanitarian work in Poland. I worked extraordinarily hard but was paid almost nothing. The sort of reward I received would not have been considered valuable by most Americans. In a sense, I took a vow of poverty. I don’t know if I was acting kindly or not, but I was giving in more ways than one, and I received more than I can ever recount. Yes, it’s true a person can be taken advantage of, but that says something ugly about the exploiter, not the expoited. Plus, exploiters always sow the seeds of their own destruction. The so-called “exploited,” if his heart is in the right place, comes though such things unscathed. I feel that my thoughts have disjointed, but that’s fine. You have prompted me to order them and to think further about all this. Thanks, Fred (au Natural). I always value your imput.

      1. Yeah. Like I said, when I was a kid I was told that one had to “earn” respect. I discarded that idea quickly but over and over, I have run into people who gave respect only on the basis of accomplishment or good behavior. Respect was just a matter of brown-nosing or how useful you were or what your skills were. Or how much they feared you. Not something all humans should share with each other.

        Like Rodney Dangerfield, I didn’t get any respect. The omega dog in the pack never does.

        I came to the conclusion that for me to respect everyone ***universally***, I had to have a definition of respect I could use for everyone, the untrustworthy and the disingenuous, the weak and the incompetent, the guy who disagrees with me as well as the guy who has my back. A definition that allows me to even respect (cough) Donald Trump. It had to be a definition that actually meant something but at the same time, it had to have a risk level I could accept.

        So I fall back on the Jewish version of the Golden Rule. “Do not do unto others that which is hateful to oneself.” Anything beyond that requires a close personal relationship.

      2. I would draw the line with (ugh) Donald Trump. I don’t think respect is terribly hard to “earn.” If a person does her best, treats others well, has a good heart, and such, then that’s enough for me. I guess that makes me the sort of “universalist” you mentioned in your comment. I draw the line with those who abuse others, act like obnoxious assholes, and the like. I don’t connect the notion of “respect” with any sort of religious doctrine except in the loosest way. I guess I’m using a lot of language to say that we look fairly sympatico when it comes to this topic.

  7. I believe life is really weird. Yet, from an objective viewpoint life is solely existing as it is and not weird at all! Thus, I probably perceive life as weird because the immense complexity of reality has yet to become familiar to my mind’s conditioned beliefs. Very weird! I like it this way.

    1. Hi. Let me see if I undestand your point. Life is weird but only because you’re looking at it through your limited human perspective. When you “get outside yourself” and look at it more objectively, as if from a distance, it all makes sense. Things only seem weird when we try to make sense of them in our limited way. Did I get it right or not?

      1. Seeing the “weirdnesses” of life, being aware of all its strange mysteries and paradoxes means you’re paying attention. Too many people sleepwalk through life.

      2. I do feel like it’s my life experiences that allowed me to shape my perspective (pay more attention)! It’s weird that I had a wakeup call, but others are still sleepwalking. This is adding to the “weirdness” of life because people who are sleepwalking may not have questioned the mysteries and paradoxes because they never had a reason, life-changing experience, or justification to do so! Everyone has different perspectives, which makes life weird, because we are all living in our own subjective realities. Based on this weird idea of perception, what is the truth of reality?

  8. Being kind to someone is also being kind to yourself get your reward then and there…the energy it creates inside of you, your own heart melts and pours the goodness all over you. Whereas insulting someone puts you in different frequency your belief in how ugly the world can look like starts with you.

    1. I totally agree. I’ve always liked Michelle Obama’s advise, when talking about how people should deal with negative people: She said: “When they [negative people] go low, we go high.” Becoming ugly to fight ugliness is mostly an action to be avoided unless it’s impossible to do so. A person fights and acts ugly in cases of self-defense. That’s it.

      1. I mostly write short articles on intentional living, becoming more aware of our conscience and knowing ourselves better. I intend to write more on slow living, taking divine guidance to live happy and fulfilled life.

      2. Those sound like great topics. Have you ever considered becoming a life coach? I ask because I was recently certified in that area.

      3. I have just started my blogging journey. Still figuring out what I want to do. Yes I have given it a thought before of becoming a life coach in the same area, but before that I want to fully align my life in the same direction so that nothing could ever lead me astray. I will visit your blog and if you have some advice for me I would be highly obliged.

    1. That’s another one of my beliefs. By the way, are you familiar with the Stoics? They were a group of thinkers who argue that we need to always keep in mind that our lives are fleeting and that we are in a constant state of decay. Making peace with one’s dissolution is super important. Thanks so much for your comment.

  9. I’ve read a bit of the Stoic philosophy. I was subscribed to a Stoic website for a while until they started sending me too many ads that I wasn’t going to cave in to.

  10. I believe in the healing power of connection and friendship. It is imperative during these strange times to reach out first, someone else may need you even more than you need them. I was shutting myself off as (an abysmal) protection from the world. Not in a huge way, just a gradual ebbing away of contact. After this realization, I began reaching out. It has been working for me.

  11. I believe in following Jesus, and focussing on peoples’ strengths, so we can lift each other up through kindness and awareness.

  12. I will stand by the motto I have followed for quite a while. You can’t inspire others until you inspire yourself. To put it another way, until we have love and peace within ourselves, we cannot spread love and peace because we still don’t understand it.

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