Meeting Those You Respect

When meeting someone whose life you admire, it's so easy to compare yourself to everything they've accomplished. It's so easy to make yourself feel insignificant and unpolished. But their life is an example. They're not our competition but rather bright stars illuminating the night sky, evidence of a journey, proof that anything is possible.

Moments of meeting are moments of opportunity, bridges through the chasm of time that connect our souls and give us a chance to learn and inspire, to enrich and enliven, to exchange maps and magic words and open our hearts and minds to new wonders and new possibilities.

We're all going to the same place, but we're all getting there a different way. There is no 'right way' to get there. So when you're meeting those you respect, remember to respect you.

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    • You’re absolutely right, Alex. No matter who it is, we all have something to learn from each other. When both sides stay humble and recognize that we both have a lot to learn and a lot to give — when we’re open to the lessons we can teach each other — then we’ll both grow. 🙂

  1. Raam,
    This is absolutely beautiful and so true…
    Each meeting is significant to me..whether it is to share a smile, words, an idea, an experience…sharing energy is a gift–one that I treasure…I share my best, because it is my pleasure to share; I graciously receive your best, because it enriches my life..and this is how I choose to connect–heart to heart..
    It’s not a competition..the moonbeams, and sun’s rays, and star light all illuminate the sky…just as each of us shine in our own way:)

    • Thank you, Joy. 🙂

      Each meeting really is significant. We all have so much to learn from each other, so much to share. But if we’re ignoring ourselves — if we compare ourselves to others and make ourselves believe that we’re missing something — then all those things we could learn get blown away by the wind. Nothing sticks unless we respect who we are and recognize our value, our potential, and our worth.

  2. Hi Raam,
    I’ve just come across someone online that is incredibly creative and accomplished, and although I know life’s not a competition, I was still feeling insignificant (your exact words) in the light of his achievements. So thank you for writing what I needed to hear right now, and helping me feel better about myself.

    • Hi Honour,

      It’s a trap we all fall into (I’ve certainly been there more times than I can count!), but if we stay humble and recognize that we’re all equal and we’re just on separate paths, then meeting people who are incredibly accomplished enhances our life. They inspire us and make us feel lucky to be alive.

  3. Hi Raam,

    Great points! When I was younger, I used to let my respect and admiration for the people I admire carry me away. I literally worshiped them and thought they could do no wrong. Only through some painful experiences did I realize that they are also human. As you rightly point out, there is nothing wrong with respecting others, but we must not forget to respect ourselves. Today, I am more in control of myself. Even if I meet someone whom I admire, I do not let myself get carried away or allow my judgment to be clouded. In the end, it is all about objectivity and balance.

    Thank you for sharing these wise words! 🙂

    Irving the Vizier

    • Hi Irving,

      It really is all about objectivity and balance. When we put ourselves in others’ shoes and then look back at ourselves with doubt, we’re not being objective enough. There needs to be a balance between learning from and being inspired by others, and a dedication and commitment to ourselves.

      We need to hold the utmost respect for our potential, for our journey. 🙂

  4. Great reminder Raam, thank you. I think we forget that within this human suit we are a soul being. With the everyday interactions, our minds get foggy. We take our human form so seriously that we don’t remember each individual has a soul the same as us. How would our interactions be if we met each other not as individuals but as soul beings and know that we are all connected in our purest form?

    • Namaste Santoshi,

      Recognizing that we’re all the same and that we’re all connected is very powerful indeed! All judgmental thinking and competitive attitudes go away and suddenly we’re here to support each other instead of taking and hoarding for ourselves.

  5. Raam–you KNOW how beautiful your poetic prose + you are, don’t you, dearest friend?

    I wish…I could dissolve my body, flow into you, and write a thank you novel on your soul for being a catalyst for my own bits of awesome.

    My poor words and stumbling body language are nowhere near enough to convey how blessed this Earth is to have you, and we its people.

    I look forward to your encapsulation of your experience in California–such a completing, peaceful yet enriching place.

  6. hello raam
    i wish you could write the non-curriculum for every school! i think it is sadly an intrinsic part of our own western culture. compete, compete, compete. the best grade, the best job, the best toys, and saddest of all … the best weapons… aaaggghhhh! as charlie brown would say. and charlie would know. he never feels good enough. until this culture can value the spirit within, our children will keep growing up into people who always feel less than or better than the other person.
    wouldn’t it be cool if buddah and christ and mohammed and ghandi all appeared in the sky so every single person on the planet could see them and they were sitting there having a cup of coffee, and everyone on earth was silent and could listen to their discussion? i like to think about that!

    • Hi Tammy,

      What wonderfully inspiring conversations they would have if they appeared today and sat down for coffee. 🙂

      In the meantime, I think we need to remember that children respect and look up to the elders around them, no matter what their environment. A little guidance and wisdom goes a long way towards changing the way they view the world as they grow up.

      It’s easy to blame systems and the environment, two things we individually have little control over. However, individually we have an incredible impact on those around us, especially those younger than us who look to us for guidance (even if only subconsciously).

      That comes back to why it’s so important to be the change we wish to see in the world. Our example — the way we choose to live our life — becomes a lit path for others to see and learn from.


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