We all like to think we set a high standard for ourselves. Most of us never reach that standard but we keep trying. Some folks are happy to be the lowest common denominator so they don’t even strive to be any better than that. I like to think they are in the minority but then I haven’t done any research on the subject.
Even though we try we always have someone we can look up to. There are people who are just born to be special and choose to answer the calling to be distinct.
Not all of us are called to be exceptional but that does not diminish the value of the rest of us but that is why we admire and respect those who are. We expect them to be worthy of our regard by setting an example which we can aspire to achieve. It doesn’t always work that way but for the most part those who answer the call deserve our esteem. We expect them to live an exemplary lifestyle which encourages us to do the same. It may not be fair but we expect more from them than we do from a dock worker.
Although there has been some difficult and tragic issues surrounding a number of clergy over the years, for the most part our spiritual guides have lived up to their mission. We can look up to them as they lead and shepherd us by example.
We turn to those involved in the medical profession to help us, heal us and most importantly to not harm us. We expect them to behave in a manner which creates trust, confidence.
When we elect officials to any level of government we want to know they are working in our best interest. This is a very difficult calling and definitely not for the weak or thin skinned. The respectability and integrity of public service has been called into question by some – well, OK, many - and therefore has become tarnished over the years but I still believe initially all go into politics with the right intentions and an authentic heart. It’s a very complex and complicated job most of us do not come close to understanding but we expect them to do what they say they are going to do and work long and hard for us. Anyone who accepts this vocation merits our admiration as long as they honour their citizens.
Armed forces and the police services are also careers not all of us are equipped or inclined to perform. It takes a special person to put their own life on the line every day for the rest of us. To live in constant danger or at least the possibility of imminent danger is more than most of us could bear.
Most often it’s the little things that give us assurance those in these, and some other professions, deserve our approval. I anticipate a genuine kindness, honesty, honour, morality, understanding, reliability - all the good things we all should strive to have.
And I expect when I see a police officer in a cruiser he will follow the same rules as I am expected to follow. Unless there is an accident or some criminal activity, I expect that police officer to come to a complete stop at stop signs, go the speed limit, you know, those things I would get pinched for and fined for if caught not doing. I expect them to set an example by their actions. Not doing so breeds contempt and distrust. We’ve all witnessed what happens then.
We can all, in our own little way, be an example worth emulating.