My Personal Credos: Respect, Loyalty, and Integrity
By Jason Sparks
I believe in good people with good morals and values, some of which being respect, loyalty and integrity. Although good people poses other great attributes I feel these are the three pillars that are the core. Throughout time these fundamental morals and values have been the back bone for different societies all over the world. During ancient times that respect, loyalty and integrity was given to the king or emperor, where now it’s important to carrying these values with most you come across. Carrying these values are important with most you come across now because to function in society in a positive way and these same values being returned they must be given. Starting with respect which is defined as a feeling of admiration for something or someone because of their or its qualities or achievements. From this definition I feel the key word is admiration, and it’s hard to admire something or someone without good qualities. Respect comes from people of all walks of life and in all kind of situations. For example while serving in the Air Force I noticed that a lot of military members seemed to have respect for a lot superior’s rank, but not the person. I began to notice this trend as a young airman when an older senior NCO pulled me aside and said to me “Hey Sparks, would you rather have respect for your rank or personality?” This was a question I pondered on for a bit and replied with the answer, “Both”. The reason I said both was because no matter what my rank was I wanted people to always respect me as a human being. After my reply the Senior NCO, next asked “Well Sparks how do you achieve both?” After giving this next question a few minutes of thought I stated to the Senior Master Sergeant “Take care of people.” This conversation always resonated with me in my military career and in later in life because it showed an important aspect of respect and of leadership. As I went through my Air Force career as both military and civilian this was something I always focused in on when dealing with people under me and when viewing leader above me and around me. For example there was once a Master Sergeant that I worked for that was all respect from his rank and no none as a person, which later cost him when it came to promotion. This particular individual never cared much about others only himself, he throw a troop under the bus quick fast and in a hurry if he could not use them to make himself look good. He thought these actions went unnoticed, but everyone from the lowest ranking person in the squadron to the Commander could see the type of person he was. His action caused people under him to do the bare minimum when it came to work, only because they had to out of respect for his rank. On the flip side of things one of his peers also a Master Sergeant everyone loved and respected, because he was genuinely a good person and would take care of everyone. This Master Sergeant was the one who ended up getting promoted, because of his board scores because of his strong package he had written. Respect ended up being such a big part of my life as child from watching my father and wanting to be a man like him. Respecting people and gaining people’s respect were values he lived by and instilled in my brother and me. When he passed so many people came out to show their respect because he showed so much respect to others. Now having three children of my own I constantly try to implant in them how important respect is to have and give others. This great pillar of respect also has played a major role in shaping history. Great leaders and scholars were built due to the respect they had amongst people and followers. For example the great Greek philosopher Socrates, who established philosophy as a lived experience versus a set of doctrine, was and is...
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