Here is a definition of “RESPECT”: a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
In order to obtain respect from others, we obviously need to self-evaluate our own “abilities, qualities and/or achievements”. These can range from our professional/business abilities, qualities and/or achievements to our roles as parents, children, siblings and/or friends. Age often will play a role in respect we get from others, as older people will tend to garner respect from younger people as this is customary, especially in certain cultures.
Before we dive into the main focus of this entry, the concept of “respect” based on our appearance was driven home to me personally this week with the following story: I needed to obtain very quickly a CD of an imaging procedure from an ER that I had performed on me about 1 month ago. When I called the ER main number, I was met with a recorded menu of prompts as we all do when we call healthcare facilities/medical practices. “Listen carefully because our menu has recently been changed…”Press 1 for ____, Press 2 for ____ Press 3 for ___”. (By the way, as an aside, why does every place have “recently changed” their menu prompts? Is there at least one place where the prompts have remained the same?)
In these healthcare facilities/medical practices, there is always a prompt that states “If you are a doctor or calling from a doctor’s office or hospital, press_——-“. As I know this line is usually picked up by a real person and you are not placed on a long hold, I sort of cheated and pressed this prompt. Although in this scenario I was a patient and not acting as a doctor, I really didn’t lie…I am actually a doctor so I hit that number. Sure enough, a person answered the phone, I identified myself as “Doctor Posner”, proceeded to ask for a CD of a CT scan, and the patient happened to me. The person very politely said she would have the CD ready for me to pick up in 30 minutes and I should drop by the front desk and ask to have the radiology department called.
When I arrived at the ER, I quickly saw how busy it was…Hmmm….Okay, let me pull the “doctor” thing again. I went back to my car, put on the white doctor coat I had in the back, threw a stethoscope around my neck, and then walked into the ER. When I went to the overworked/overwhelmed receptionist and asked to see then radiology department to pick up the CD, the person quickly smiled and directed me right back to radiology. Once there, I identified myself and in 30 seconds the CD was in my hands. I can’t help but think that had I not pulled the “Doctor card” in this venture, I would probably be waiting days for that CD.
The point: As unfair as it is, our appearance will garner varying levels of respect. The military person wearing the uniform walking into a restaurant will probably garner better attention/respect from the staff. The Priest wearing the collar will probably be treated differently than if the person was wearing regular clothes. And, unfortunately, people in better “shape” will probably garner more respect and credibility than others that do not appear as fit.
I can think of a whole bunch of other reasons/motivations for people to shed weight that are MUCH more important than changing the level of respect we receive from others. However, a heightened level of respect (maybe even more self-respect) will accompany successful weight control.
And I know you saw this one coming….Here is Arethra Franklin singing “RESPECT”.