At a recent runners dinner, I was wearing a tie. I had a long day of official meetings before I came for that dinner. Photos on Facebook elicited the response as to why I was wearing one.
A few days later I was standing in front of my tie rack and then it suddenly struck me that my medal hanger and my tie rack had a common connection. Respect.
I wear a tie to all formal meetings as well as to client meetings. Even if, often the client is going to be in casuals. It is the same reason why we wear a suit to church or my wife wears flowers and does her hair when she goes to the temple. It is respect for the occasion. It is respect for the other side.
The medal hanger too is a mark of respect by each of those event organizers for the runner that I am. Be it a local 5K or one of those 21Ks that I run regularly each month, the medal denotes the respect for the occasion. For the runner in me.
Non runners often see all those medals hanging and are in awe of it. They think that each one is a podium finish. When I clarify that each finisher in an endurance race gets a medal they feel let down and ponder as to why everyone should get a medal. I then explain that each endurance race means many cumulative acts of discipline that the runner has observed over the preceding months in order to be able to participate and finish. Be it a 5K or 21K or beyond, all of them are respectful distances.
I believe that if you lead a life of giving respect to those around you then you will get the respect that you deserve. Respect is the reason I go back and fix the red squiggle in a WhatsApp message. Respect is the reason I apologize to my team members if I made a wrong surmise. Respect is the reason I send a thank you message after attending a dinner at a friend’s place.
Respect is the reason why we offer a floral garland to a chief guest at an official function. Respect is the reason why race organizers team stand at finish lines and garland the medal to each finisher. And respect is the reason why I often end up wearing a tie.