Today in my Honor & Shame class my professor gave a formal lecture. The class is actually a seminar, but he decided to lecture to prepare us for our test/final exam. One of the points he made that I know will continue to follow me through life, is how honor is now in the celebrity. Honor by his definition is: the esteem to which you are held by the PEOPLE WHO MATTER. He asked us “Who is one person that could come into this room, and you would stand up and respect them, and ask to shake their hand just because they are who they are?” The entire class just sat there in silence, not ONE person had an answer for that. I was trying to think of just ONE person, but no one came to mind. When students did think about it and respond, all the people they named were celebrities. Who are celebrities? So what they can read a script and make a movie, or sing a few lines better in a song than I can, but who are they? What did they do that is sooooo significant that I should respect them? Why do we not have people in our society that we honor just because?
In a class before this one, he said that people who have authority only have that authority because they have power; power to influence others to believe a certain way or do certain things. Their authority should be respected because they are honorable people, not just because they can. He spoke on how society has lost respect for people in power. Police officers have lost have trust, politicians have lost our trust, priest, preachers, pastors, and MARTHA STEWART has lost our trust! (OK maybe Martha Stewart was a little out there but you get the point.) These people who we are supposed to honor and imitate, we do not anymore because they have lost our trust…..and that is so sad. Our young people, including myself, have NO ONE on this Earth to emulate. We have NO ONE to look at and say “HEY, I want to be just like her/him”. Who do we have? CELEBRITIES! Is that what our society is all about?
The point he closed on was that our honor circle has to change if we want to be successful. This one made me a little uneasy. He said that if we have friends who sit around and crack the same joke, talk about the same thing, reminiscing on “that one time when…” OVER & OVERR & OVERRRRR….then it is time to change your circle. After he explained more, I realized I was already beginning to do that; but not on purpose. I was already shutting out those who are not on the same page as me. But before this lecture I felt horrible about it, now I am not afraid to lose friends. That may sound harsh, but it is what it is ya know? That is life. & in the words of a friend “God NEVER makes mistakes” so therefore how can I question him?
Special thanks to Dr. Leo Madden, Victoria Bufka, La’Gesha Hill, Eric Hopkins II, & Kwan Bailey for the inspiration behind this blog post.
P.S. Meeting with Hands On Central Ohio went well! I plan on starting the first of the year if all goes according to plan.