Respect yourself, Not Just a Song

My Football Career

Combination #4 from Ed Gerety‘s book Combinations is Respect. This may be one of the hardest chapters to read because each one of us in our lives has had moments when we did not respect ourselves and or others and those are the moments that come back to you at night. They wake you up in a cold sweat and make you wonder how things would be different had you made the decision that was respectful to yourself and others.

However, there are other times when you stood up to what was wrong and you did have respect for yourself, those moments are ones you can look back on with pride and satisfaction.

You may have noticed the photo above. That was me in my year of football in High School. That was not a training exercise, well not in the strictest sense that it was training me to be a better football player but more so in training me to be a better person.

Some backstory and rambling.

I joined our football team my senior year of High School. I had never played before but friends, and a former bully encouraged me to play. I was not a good player in terms of skill or ability. I’d be crazy to think that I could get on the team and be some sort of all star after never having played in my life. The best play I ever made was in practice when I went the wrong way and tackled the guy with the ball, completely on accident.

What I was good at however, was motivating my teammates. I made it my job to be up and excited through every single game. Cheering them on and yelling and screaming encouragement. I was also on “scrub” D during practices. I remember one time when I didn’t give it my all on a play and one of the captains grabbed me got in my face. He told me that if I didn’t give my best on every play and challenge him he would knock me down flat every chance he got. I was never to dog it or take it easy on him either. I was to make things difficult for him on every play. If he wasn’t challenged in practice he wouldn’t perform well in the game. That moment resonates with me to this day. Even though I never played in a single varsity game for any length of time whatsoever I was a part of the team and what I did in practice and on the sidelines mattered.

One of those things that mattered was getting the water for the guys on the field. It was the water that made the difference. Getting water was the role for the sophomores on the team because they were younger and new to the team, they hadn’t proven themselves yet. I was a senior and seniors were the tops dogs, they had cheerleaders who would make them spirit bags, decorate their lockers and wear their jersey numbers on game day. Getting the water was not the job for a senior.

I didn’t quite see it that way. On game days and during practice I would be right there with the sophomores getting water making sure that the 1st stringers had what they needed. One of the other seniors, a guy who had no respect for himself or anyone else, knocked the water out of my hands once and told me that I was a senior and that wasn’t something a senior should do. This guy was big, slow and not that bright and he figured that because he attained certain grade in high school that he didn’t have to work to help the team. He also tried to knock me down all the time for no reason other than to assert that he was bigger and stronger. He was a bully. He gave me a concussion deliberately and he made me want to quit the team. I didn’t. He did. I continued to get the water for the team.

A line that stands out in Ed’s book is “An important part of the combination of respect is to lead by example. It is not what we say but what we do.”

The reason that I was a senior getting water with the sophomores and cheering my teammates on as hard as I did was to show them all respect. I respected my coaches by working as hard as I could. I respected my teammates by challenging, motivating and serving them. I respected myself by sticking out something I had never done before and doing the best I could.

Respect Yourself.

Having respect for yourself means making the hard choices to do the right thing and sticking by those choices through the consequences. Here are some questions to ponder. Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Do we respect for ourselves as bloggers?

And what I mean by this is are we willing to do the hard work to get the job done? Are we dogging it in our content? Do we challenge our friends and do we serve each other? Do we find people who will challenge us and respect us? Are we using our influence to help others make decisions that are beneficial for them or for us? Can it be both?


Do we disrespect ourselves as bloggers?

Do we try and post ourselves up by tearing others down? Do we take the easy way out and go for the quick buck that compromises our values? Do we propagate negativity when someone else succeeds or do we celebrate them for a job well done?

7 thoughts on “Respect yourself, Not Just a Song”

  1. I really liked the ending about asking yourself how you are doing as a blogger. I think it’s important to help others, love what you do, and work hard. If you do all of those, then there should be no reason to fail. It’s not always easy to take the right path but it sure beats taking shortcuts and getting burned later.

    Justin Wrights last blog post..A New Look For A New Year

  2. Justin,
    Excellent points. It is discussion and insight like this that has made me a fan of you and your blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to be part of this discussion.

  3. I try to be a respectful blogger – I put thought into my posts most of the time and make sure if I add something to my site its “quality” – meaning it will give value to someone or help them out with something. I turn down a lot of opportunities that would make me more money – but if its something I don’t like I’m not going to jeopardize the mostly positive reputation of my site and loyalty of my humble number of subscribers.

    I also see blogging as a chance to connect with people and hopefully make a positive difference in their lives – something I’m sure a lot of people don’t, all in the chase to make a quick buck. So I am not a rich blogger, but at least I consider myself to be a nice respectable one 🙂

    Chelles last blog post..Last Minute Valentine Gifts

  4. Well said Chelle,
    And I bet you that your dedicated subscribers are happy with what you are providing them with each post. Relevant information that they can use to enhance their lives. I say that if you are making connections with your readers and building community then you are rich in so many ways.

  5. It took a lot of guts to go out for the football team you Sr. year having never played before. My A talks about how cool it was that you played and never complained.

    We all contribute where we can and although you never got off the bench you contribution was no less important than anyone else’s on that team. True leadership is finding a way to contribute no matter what.

    It says something that the guy that used to give you crap quit the team but you stuck it out.

    Didn’t you earn a letter or something for your contributitions? My A seems to remember you getting some sort of award.

  6. Stephen,

    Your A was one great guy who was part of the group who encouraged me. It was our time together working out weight training that gave me the motivation in the first place to go out for the team.

    I did receive an award for loyalty and service to the team. That night when we received awards was a very special one to me. I didn’t include it in the post because I guess I didn’t want to completely toot my own horn. But that award was one of the best ones I ever received. And that night stuck with me for such a long time.

    Thank you A for me stephen, his support made a huge impression on me.

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