Honor is really about respect. The word respect is commonly used as it relates to respecting others. For example, "Respect your elders. Honor your mother and your father. Give honor to whom honor is due."
All of these phrases are familiar. But how about this one: "Honor yourself." Does that feel right to you? If it doesn't, it's only because you haven't heard it enough to form a habit in your mind and actions.
You may be surprised by just how many people don't have a healthy respect for themselves. When people don't respect themselves, it always shows. It's impossible to hide.
One way to determine if people have a healthy respect for themselves is to watch how they keep their word to themselves. If you can't commit to do for you what you say you're going to do, then you really don't honor yourself.
You Deserve to Treat Yourself Well
There are people who give to others but never give to themselves. That is not honoring.
Some people make time for their spouses, their children, their work, their church, and their friends, but they feel guilty about taking time for themselves. They are not honoring themselves. They deserve to treat themselves well.
Compassionate samurai will honor themselves, whether it's by having a massage, spending time in the hot tub, or reading. Those behaviors aren't selfish unless it's carried to the extreme of not having time for others.
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If you don't take care of yourself, you'll eventually become a martyr and not be of much use for anyone else. Service is a bottomless pit. You always want to contribute, but don't fall into the trap of thinking that you can finish or complete your duty.
A Self-Honoring Practice
Do you exercise and eat right? That is a self-honoring practice. What do you say to yourself when you make a mistake? Do you honor yourself by saying that it was a good effort and look for the lesson you learned? Do you dishonor yourself by berating yourself or calling yourself stupid?
Samurai honored themselves highly. That is the main reason they felt so compelled to honor other people they came into contact with, even their enemies. How a samurai treated himself was an indication of his overall image.
It is that kind of image that others see in you, and that image you can give to others. How you treat yourself is a direct reflection of how you'll treat others.
Reprinted with permission of the publisher,
Hay House Inc. ©2008. www.hayhouse.com
THE COMPASSIONATE SAMURAI: Being Extraordinary in an Ordinary World
by Brian Klemmer.
About the Author
Brian Klemmer is the author of the best-selling books If How-To's Were Enough, We Would All Be Skinny, Rich, & Happy; When Good Intentions Run Smack into Reality; and Eating the Elephant One Bite at a Time. Known for his humorous and practical style of communicating, Brian is one of today's most in-demand speakers. His character development and leadership seminar company, Klemmer & Associates Leadership Seminars, Inc., has conducted its work for more than 100,000 people around the world. Klemmer and Associates seminars measure and produce long lasting changes in people; and you can find out more about them by visiting them online at www.klemmer.com or by calling (800) 577-5447.
Watch a video: Being a Compassionate Samurai: Interview with Brian Klemmer