This should go without saying but it does fly over our heads sometimes. If I were to ask you about the people you respect the most, you would probably think of your parents or the wealthiest persons you know, not necessrily because of the wealth they have but rather because deep down you acknowledge all the hard work they put in to get to where they are. While on the other hand the people you respect the least would be persons who either inherited their wealth or who aren’t wealthy at all. So is respect just a product of hardwork or is there more to it?
We are all ranked
Being social creatures living in a society with a hierarchical structure often represented as status, we grant respect not just to the people above us in this hierarchy but also to those whom we perceive to be more competent than ourselves. In simple terms,
we respect people who are more hard working than ourselves whether we like it or not.
What is interesting in all this for me is the fact that we respect people automatically even when they do things which have nothing to do with ourselves and thats why the term “the best” is so often used and we are so bent on ranking people from best to worst. You have ranking systems all through your life which are aimed at putting people in different classes; the best in class, the fastest run, the earliest worker etc
The unfortunate consequence of all this is that the value of people ends up being measured with this metric only. There are many advantages to this and its a system which has proven to work and since there is no foreseeable alternative, there is no reason to get rid of it. The advantage of such a system is that it permits rapid growth and development. We all aim to be the best so we all work towards that, but if that wasn’t the case then mediocrity would be much more common.
Working Hard Pays off
For me what is the most interesting in this is the fact that no matter what you do, as long as you are hardworking in it then you are going to receive the respect of your peers, even if it’s in something which brings no value to society. People instinctively respect the hard work you put in, especially when they know they can’t replicate that. We all have much respect for the fastest runner on the planet, the strongest man, the smartest student etc, this is so because we instinctively respect hard work as a means of survival. Not only do we respect hard work but we are also attracted to that person, we want to be like them and do the things they have done even when its of no interest to us. This might be more so for men than women since every man has the innate desire to conquer.
Looking at the other end of the spectrum, what do we have there, a lazy person who doesn’t want to work as hard. There isn’t much respect for such a person no matter what other qualities they might have, they could be the nicest or even smartest person in the world but their inability to work hard is going to make them repulsive towards others. Its important to note here that the respect for hard work doesn’t always correlate to success. A person might not be doing well financially but they are still very much respected just by the amount of work they put in to get even the little bit they have, even though it’s very difficult to be hardworking and not to achieve at least a degree of success.
The Value of Respect
My message for you today is that you have to work hard to be respected and to be even noticed in society, its doesn’t matter that much what you do as long as you go at it with all your heart. Don’t focus on doing things others are already doing which don’t match your personality because you won’t be passionate about those enough to give it your best. No matter what you choose to do and if you put in as much hard work then you are eventually going to be respected for the hard work you put in and not the success you achieved. I think beyond just the hard work most people can see the passion and thats what they respect. The other side to all of this is to be completely ignored by society, you will go through life like a ghost and noboby will ever notice your presence, you will have to struggle to get even the slightest attention from your peers and every body else meanwhile you know your worth. Why does nobody notice you when you enter a room? why does nobody care? because they don’t see anything to be respected about you and you probably don’t add any value to them. For your own happiness, strive to be someone of value who is respected by society for his hard work.