Respect is a basic need for all people. Respect is as necessary as the air we breathe, the water we drink and food we eat. Respect, not agreement, nor platitudes are essential to our self-worth. When Jesus spoke of the poor – it was not a message of economics, but a message of respect. After all is said and done we only have our honor, dignity, and trust as a value we make available to others and thus to the world.
In today’s world, social status is entangled with economic status. It is difficult, if not impossible, to separate socio-economic concepts within the context of respect. The symbiosis between social status and economic freedom are too often discounted. This is especially true of the leadership of institutions, whether commercial enterprises, governmental agencies, faith traditions, or community structures.
If you have money, you have the resources that enable you to do what you want with the scope of moral and legal governance. Thus, money and the amount of disposal income provide you with freedom. The more money you have the greater your freedom. You can talk all you want about serving two masters – the reality is that money cannot make you happy – but money troubles make a significant dent into your ability to be happy. The only thing money cannot buy is poverty.
Your economic freedom has a direct relationship to your social standing. You may be an idiot, an absolute despicable person, but if you have money, society gives you respect. Whereas, you may be at the threshold of sainthood and if you are struggling financially – society marginalizes you as a person. In modern society, wealth is the metric of a person’s value – creating the respect or honoring the significance of your existence. In feudal times, it was royalty; your bloodline, – that determined your social standing. In Biblical times it was tribal connections, which define your status; this remains true in many places in present day. In both cases, economic benefits come with the bloodlines.
We live in a world where value distortions impact your level of respect. This goes both ways, not all rich people are bad, and not all poor people are good. Within any social and institutional structures, value judgments depend on the paradigmatic metrics. Anyone in a distorted environment is at the mercy of these judgments.
Understanding this phenomenon is the beginning of change. Separate the abnormality of your cultural and social habitats from the realities of your life. Abandon the ideas of others and rather look inside yourself to know the dimension of your soul. Remove the noises of misconceived notions about respect and value. Place yourself in the middle of the stream of your life. What you give, how you make life better for other people is the basis of your barometer of value. Use this as your value and enjoy the respect you deserve for focusing on the common good. Reaching out into the universe of energy to create a positive force becomes a crescendo of creative energy beyond physical and material limitations.
History rewards the exploits of great leaders and people, as legacies of those who improve life thru art, science, music, and ideas. Faith expressions live on. History rarely records the rich unless they use their resources to improve the world.
When you see your world in this perspective, you begin to control your mind and this build the respect and work necessary to overcome any obstacle. The energy that flows from this mental reorientation creates unexpected benefits and outcomes. This mind set overcomes the trap of negativity that blocks the flow of universal energy. This change in you ignites the change in the universe that elevates you and transforms the world.