Blog | Life and Leadership | September 22, 2014
Honor: n. High respect; Great esteem
I have a deep admiration for the military. The discipline, the tradition and the unity has appealed to me ever since I was a gangly, little girl. I attribute my early interest to the frequent school trips to Washington, DC. Though I did not pursue a military career, I moved to Singapore after college to work as a Project Manager, where I get to pretend to be a very polite drill sergeant.
One of the things that I admire most about military culture is the practice of honor. In the United States military, the highest form of recognition a soldier can receive is the Medal of Honor.
It was created during the American Civil War as a way of acknowledging individuals who commit personal acts of valor, something that goes above and beyond the call of duty. It is a token of appreciation, an acknowledgement of sacrifice, a very formal pat on the back for choosing to do the hard thing.
The battlefield is an obvious place where individuals demonstrate extraordinary acts of valor that are worthy of medals, ceremonies and handshakes from high ranking officials.
But, what about the acts of valor that occur without a battlefield in sight? What about the daily demonstrations of selflessness? Like the father who wakes up extra early to take his children to school, or the friend who realizes you are feeling down so she drops you a funny note? Or, even the boss who makes herself available before office hours to make sure you understand what you are doing? I think we all have opportunities every day at home and at work to go above and beyond the call of duty that we have so clearly (and sometimes not so clearly) defined in our job descriptions.
The dictionary defines honor as “high respect; great esteem”. Those are really just fancy words to describe a person who exceeds your expectations and chooses to rise above their own daily load in an attempt to lighten yours.
I have a feeling there a lot of people who choose to commit daily acts of valor. Some do it all the time and just don’t realize it. Others feel like they go above and beyond regularly but never seem to get appreciated.
Either way, thank you. Don’t stop. Consider this your virtual medal of honor!
And, the next time you spot someone in your life demonstrating a daily act of selflessness in any shape or form, let them know you noticed.
Questions to ponder:
1. What is an everyday act of valor that you have witnessed?
2. What are some ways that you can go above and beyond the call of duty at home or at work?
Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us what you think.