When you drive after getting your license, you push your seat closer to the steering wheel, you hold the steering wheel with both hands, you make a complete stop at the stop sign, you use your indicators when you turn, you drive cautiously, and you keep a safe following distance.
When you bake a cake for the first time, you follow the recipe step by step until you get the cake you want.
Over time something happens when you get comfortable, you push your seat back, put your sunglasses on, hold the steering wheel with one hand, you yield at the stop sign instead of stopping, suddenly a safe following distance doesn’t make sense anymore, you drive fast and even hoot at other drivers when they make a mistake.
After you have baked the cake several times, you start baking it without following the recipe.
When you drive on a road for the first time, you drive cautiously but when you have driven on that road for a long time, you tend to speed and cut corners.
We have respect for something when it is new to us. Something happens when the new stops being new to us.
It is a good thing to have experience, to be familiar with something because you become comfortable.
It is when you become too familiar with something that you take it for granted that is problematic.
Familiarity breeds people who are not afraid to drink and drive. Familiarity breeds people who take others for granted, it breeds comfort zones.
This not only applies to driving and baking, but it applies to work, relationships, businesses, projects.
When we value something, we respect it. At the least, this feeling of being valued tends to limit hostility and scorn. When we devalue something, contempt becomes very prevalent.
The pendulum swings from respect to contempt quietly.
People don’t announce when they push the seat back and hold the steering wheel with one hand and start shouting at other motorist,
People don’t announce when they stop using the recipe.
Over time we subconsciously stop respecting and sometime unintentionally adopt the attitude of contempt to things we should be respecting.
Whether this is due to the boredom that comes with the routine of doing the same thing over and over, or the excitement and novelty wears of, contempt creeps in silently uninvited and without knocking.
We must pay close attention to the slide into the devaluing that which we had respect for.
It is important that as we get comfortable with certain things, we maintain the same level of respect 50 years later like we did on day one.
Be comfortable? Maybe, but not disrespect things we should be valuing.
If you want to be respected by your customers/peers/partners/competitors/constituents, the best way is to begin by respecting them and the opportunity they are giving you.
As Hafiz has said:
All this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe Me.”
With a love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.
Let your respect levels be as constant like the sun it is to the earth.
Familiarity should breed more respect.
Keep a safe following distance of respect with people and things that matters to you.