Respect the person or position

Many of us fall in love with the position we hold in life be it in the family, community or at work. We think our position gives us status, pride and respect. While it is true that many people respect the position more than the person, but when you leave a position, you are respected only for the person you are.

It may be invaluable to realise early in life that people respect the person in you more than the position you hold. Position may come and go but the person remains forever. You may be the President of your country or the CEO of your business but tomorrow, you remain only the person behind the position.

Some of us get away with unpardonable behaviour when we are holding positions of authority. We may wield our power and get away with whatever we say or do. But as soon as we vacate the same position of power, people either ignore us or forget us.

On the other hand, if you are grounded and live a life loving everyone around you and respecting them irrespective of the position you hold, then people remember you forever. They remember the way you treated them even if they forget the position you held while you treated them that way.

Our behaviour is permanent while our positions are ephemeral. We tend to get stuck to positions and forget the person in us. We tend to believe that the position we hold will take care of us and insulate us from the repercussions of bad conduct.

While this may be partially true till we hold that position of power, it fades always as soon as we move on. People do not remember the positions we held forever. Positions are static and temporary while persons are dynamic and live their life time.

It is important for us to realise that people respect our behaviour because of the person we are. They may continue to respect us for our behaviour even if we move on from the positions of power as long as our behaviour continues to be endearing. The day we think position and power can get us everything in life and we can get away with all our actions , we may be misled.

This basic tenet of life is true for family, community, society or even organisations. We love our parents since they are caring in nature and treat us with love and dignity. We love our teachers because they have nurtured us, irrespective of our tantrums and never wielded power to guide us.

We respect colleagues at work who have always guided us and led us to behave well through their actions more than their words or positions. We tend to follow what we see in them rather than what they say or what position they hold.

Let us mould our behaviour and shape our personality to be loving, caring and endearing always, to everyone around us.

Positions will come and go but person remains the same

S Ramesh Shankar

1st August 2021

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