A little over a month ago, before school and other things took up my time, I asked my brother, “Do you know of a good book that I could read?”
After explaining that I wanted a novel, not something non-fictional, he suggested the Icewind Dale Trilogy, by R.A. Salvatore.
This trilogy is very enjoyable just to read; it also includes many well-thought statements about life itself. One of such is an article supposedly written by one of the characters, Drizzt Do’Urden. I would explain who he is and whatnot, but I don’t want to make this too long. Now, this article is about respect and its influence on our relationships with other people. I’ll include some excerpts of the comments and wisdom found therein.
“The world is full of ruffians. The world is full of people of good character. Both of these statements are true, I believe, because within most of the people I have known lies the beginning points of both seemingly disparate paths….
“Initial impressions are sometimes difficult to overcome, and sometimes become lasting, but beyond race and appearance and other things that we cannot control, I have learned that there are definite decisions that I can make concerning which reaction I will edge someone else toward.
“The key to it all, I believe, is respect.
“When I was in [a city] with [a friend], we crossed through a tavern full of ruffians, men who used their fists and weapons on an almost daily basis. Yet, another friend of mine…, often frequents such taverns, and rarely, very rarely, ever gets into so much as a verbal argument. Why is this? Why would … a man of some wealth, and a man of respectable society as well, not find himself immersed in brawls as regularly as the others? He often goes in alone, and stands quietly at the bar, but though he hardly says a word, he surely stands out among the more common patrons….
“What keeps [him] safe is his ability to show respect for anyone he meets. He is a man of charm, who holds well his personal pride. He grants respect at the outset of a meeting and continues that respect until the person forfeits it. This is very different than the way most people view the world. Most people insist that respect has to be earned, and with many, I have come to observe, earning it is no easy task! Many … demand that anyone desiring their friendship first earn their respect, and I can understand their point of view, and once believed that I held one similar….
“[He] takes the opposite approach, one of acceptance and one lacking initial judgement. This may seem a subtle alternative, but it most certainly is not. Would that the man be anointed a king, I say, for he has learned the secret of peace. When [he] enters a tavern of common peasant thugs, most within the place, and society at large, would view him as superior. And yet, in his interactions with these people, there is no air of superiority about the man at all. In his eyes and in his heart, he is among peers, among other intelligent creatures whose paths have led them to a different – and not better or worse – place than his own. And when [he] grants respect to men who would think nothing of cutting his heart out, he disarms them, he takes away whatever reason they might have found to fight with him….
“How rich is his life! How full of wonder and how wide of experience!”
Incredible. May I say so? I sincerely hope so. I hope that this has made a difference for you as it has for me. It seems to clear, and yet such a thing is so very difficult. To do so, one must put away his pride and judgement. And I know that I have not been even relatively near accomplishing that. But hopefully one day I will. Hopefully.