Thursday, January 6, 2011
An Action Verb
I was reading about Sal Giunta, the U.S. Army staff sergeant who recently received the Medal of Honor. What he did – which he thinks was no big deal – went far beyond what any of us would consider heroic. He fully deserves the Medal of Honor and any other recognition people want to pass in his direction.
That story set me to thinking.
A lot of my online friends are selecting a word for 2011, a word that will describe what they are about, or hope to be about, or hope to accomplish. Jeanne Damoff selected “rest.” Michael Perkins picked “story.” Jennifer Dukes-Lee picked “imperfect,” which is absolutely brilliant. Bonnie Gray at Faith Barista is hosting a blog carnival today on exactly that subject – pick a word for 2011.
I thought about this for a long time. Choosing one word isn’t as easy as it might appear. I tried several on but discarded them. Nothing seemed to fit.
Then it came, unexpectedly, like a lot of things do. I was washing dishes. I toyed with it through the drying and getting out the garbage for tomorrow (a major undertaking; this week our community has gone to curbside recycling, weekly trash pickup and a maximum of five bags of trash per week; I feel tres California). I stuffed all the trash into the bags and kept thinking about the word.
Yes, this was it.
Honor. The verb. Not the noun.
I like this word. I like the fact that it means more than simply “encourage.”
You can honor a person for something they’ve done, something wonderful or heroic, Like Sgt. Giunta, or you can honor them simply because the person is.
But then I wondered: can you really honor someone simply for their being?
The answer was obvious. Of course you can.
It’s because we are all made in God’s image, and that fact alone means that each of us are worthy to be honored and revered and deemed valuable. Beauty is immaterial. Wealth and power and position don’t matter. How high or low an IQ we have is no consideration. Simply because we are made in God’s image, we are worthy to be honored. All of us.
So I’m setting off on a pilgrimage of sorts. This will be my year to find ways to let people know they are honored, simply because they are.
And honor is an action verb.
To see what others have selected as their word for 2011, please visit Bonnie Gray’s Faith Barista site.
Photograph: Rose by Vojko Kalan via Public Domain Pictures. Used with permission.