Wednesday, April 04 2012 @ 11:54 AM PDT
Contributed by: WatchCat
Someone shocked me yesterday by announcing they plan to retire from the military after they hit the 20 year mark. That's still a few years off, and I just didn't see that advance plan coming. I thought that if circumstances demanded at that time, they'd get out, but the way the promotions and top assignments were coming, I thought he'd end up a General. It's been almost 24 hrs and I'm still trying to catch my breath! In my mind, he's too good at what he does to retire. As I get over my growling, though, I'm realizing that I have huge respect for the decision he's making. He's putting his family's needs ahead of his own career, and I respect the hell out of him for it.
On the flip side, I'm working hard to learn how to communicate respect to the guys in my life, and it's not all smooth sailing. These last two years have taught me a lot of humility, but still my respect is not easily won. I'm intelligent, detail-oriented, and good at quite a few things. Thus I can be hard on anyone who struggles to keep up. I know that's not always fair; some of these people have tremendous talents in other areas. Right now I'm feeling terrible because I was a little too honest when answering one man's questions about another man's skills in a particular department. After the conversation I realized that I had probably communicated disrespect, which was an awful thing to do to the relationship of the two men involved. Because I spoke my mind, I don't know how to undo the damage I might have inflicted. Part of me hopes that the hearer just passes over it due to the common culture of disrespect in the world, but I doubt it. His respect has always been hard to win. I really screwed up here.
I'm trying to do better. I'm trying to communicate respect to those who deserve it, and to those around them. But for my male readers... Please understand that women who want to show respect to men are swimming against the tide. Our culture discourages it, and it can be hard to find examples of women who respect their men without being doormats. Most of us are scared to death of being doormats. Neither men nor women can win this battle alone. Please forgive us when we misspeak in front of other men; once we realize what has happened, your kindness and forgiveness will lift you even higher in our eyes.