If You Have It, Nothing Else Matters

Intrigued by this title, are you, dear reader? Wondering what “it” might be?  No doubt, you have some ideas of your own. “It” is what I value above anything else, with the exception, perhaps, of life itself.

I’m thinking you might be considering words such as “money” or “power” or even “love.” All valid words, I suppose, but none of them is the one that goes with the thought that immediately entered my mind this morning when I saw Emily’s prompt for BlogFEST 2012.
Like many of you, I grew up during a time when women weren’t exactly equal partners in, well, anything. It was commonplace for men to call women in the workplace “Honey” or “Darling” or other pet names. The notion that women could have intelligent thoughts of their own, was, frankly, pretty “out there.”

What women had that paramount when I was growing up were their bodies. The svelte, Caucasian (Yep. I went there.) model with flawless skin and straight, gleaming white teeth was the standard. Forget that, oh, I don’t know, 90% or more of the female population didn’t look like that and never would without major cosmetic surgery… . With so much attention going to their bodies, women were largely their husbands’ “accessories.” That notion was the impetus for, “…and His Lovely Wife,” by Pulitzer Prize winning  (Yep, you read that right!) reporter Connie Schultz.

So I used to tell my parents that when I grew up above all I wanted two things in life: A good body and … RESPECT.

We sure have come a long way since then, but even though we are living in the 21st century, there are still moments … .

About 10 years ago, I was the administrative assistant to the headmaster of a religious day school. To accommodate their jobs, he would meet with the senior members of the board — all of whom were men — in the early mornings. One morning, I arrived to work after they’d all gathered. I was getting myself squared away when the board president came out of the conference room and said to me, “You were supposed to get us coffee.”

Is that so? I must have missed that memo.

I got him coffee all right with “a little extra” in it, if you know what I mean … .

What’s noteworthy to me in recounting this true story is that shortly before I got the job, I’d lost a considerable amount of weight and my body truly looked fabulous.

When I’d talk to my parents as a kid, I’d actually say to them that I wanted “Respect and a good body.” It’s interesting to me that I always put respect first. I never knew why until that incident with the board president.

What I value more than anything else in the world, with the exception, perhaps, of life itself, is respect. With respect comes money, power and most of all, love. If you have respect, everything else follows and, consequently, nothing else matters.

Leave a comment


  1. I too value respect. With respect opens the doors to many possibilities! Great take to my prompt! I loved it!!

  2. This is so true!

  3. I get respect. I come from a long line of very head strong women. They all commanded respect long before it was socially acceptable to do so. These women Re so loved and revered in our family…however they were still feminine enough and humble and graceful enough to be seen as the beautiful and kind hearted women they were. I’m glad you wanted that at such young of an age. Says a lot about you.

  4. Oh yes. I could here Aretha Franklin belting out respect in my head as I was reading this!!


  5. The thing about respect is that you have to dole it out to the deserving in order to be able to earn it for yourself. I find it of great value, also. This is a wonderful take of the Values prompt.

    Very well done.


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