I have noticed that people’s language is changing. Everyone is talking about honouring. Everywhere I turn I hear it more and more. Did you honour the process? Do you honour that person? I recently watched The Golden Globes and was bombarded with a dozen long speeches honouring this and honouring that! You can watch any award ceremony and you’re bound to hear the words “I want to honour these people”. When I think back 5, 10, 15 years ago no one was honouring people or processes. Why has it become so fashionable? Is it just a phase?
Let’s figure out where it came from.
Is it based on religion? Pretty much every religion encourages the honouring of parents. According to the teachings of the Catholic Church, the commandment to honour father and mother reveals God’s desired order of charity – first God, then parents, then others.
But this sort of unconditional honouring doesn’t leave much room for picking and choosing who and what should be honoured. This type of honouring is very black and white, more of a command rather than a choice.
Maybe it’s because we are becoming more aware of other people. Are we as a community becoming more concerned with other people’s feelings? Despite what you see in the news, war is declining, and humanity is becoming less violent, less racist and less sexist — and this moral progress has accelerated in recent decades. The homicide rates, are now far lower than in previous centuries. The murder rate in Britain seems to have fallen by more than 90 percent since the 14th century. To put it bluntly, we humans seem to be getting nicer. Is that the reason we are honouring more and more people and things?
So, what does it mean to honour someone?
We’ve already established that we throw the word around quite a bit in our modern society and give it a lot of lip service, But what does it actually mean to honour someone?
Well, the dictionary defines it as –
To regard or treat (someone) with respect and admiration: to show admiration for (someone or something).
To me, the act of honoring someone means I respect and celebrate that person. It’s about accepting someone as they are and appreciating them for who they are. I don’t necessarily have to agree with them on all issues, but I will honor them.
With all this talk of honouring others, what about honouring ourselves? Why don’t we write passionate speeches about honouring ourselves as much as we do for others? Perhaps it’s because a lot of us find it difficult to embrace every part of ourselves. It often feels foreign and unnatural. It’s hard to accept all our parts. It’s hard to prioritise what’s important. Do we even know what is important? It’s hard to treat ourselves with compassion and even more so, with love.
Maybe during your life you heard a lot of: “Don’t be so selfish. It’s not all about you. What is wrong with you? Get over it already. That’s ridiculous to feel that way. Enough. You don’t really feel that way! Stop crying now. Can’t you see I’m busy?”
Just remember you’re not alone! If you take anything from this please let it be that it’s never too late to ease into honoring yourself. While we don’t immediately undo or heal damaging beliefs or wounds, if we take baby steps soon honouring ourselves will become second nature.
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