Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting with one of my quilt shop friends. I love this gal! She is about 4'11", speaks with a nice accent, and is very kind and loving. She helps make the quilt shop run by being an excellent folder of our kits. It is an art when she does it! She sat across from me at the cut counter and told me about her days as a manicurist in Beverly Hills, CA. Rita Hayworth was one of her clients and she had only good things to say about her. Rita was a star in the 40's; look her up on Youtube here:
My friend told me how Rita talked of other Hollywood ladies and scoffed at their plastic surgery to stay looking good. She taught my friend to do face exercises and to squeeze in her stomach when stopping at a red light while driving to get results that were natural. She was described to me as a kind woman who was respectable. RESPECTABLE! That word hit me between the eyes. I haven't heard of anyone being described that way in a very long time. This got me to thinking.
What does it mean to be respectable? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it means to be "decent or correct in behavior or character." Do you know anyone that you could say they were respectable?
What is considered decent and correct behavior anyway? Back to the Merriam-Webster dictionary! Here is the definition of decent: conforming to standards of propriety, good taste, or morality. That is a pretty high measure of conduct. Is it possible to live in a respectable way in a world that has traded in propriety, good taste, and morality for hypersexuality and wanton debauchery? I say yes, but you won't have many friends.
For me, aiming to be respectable is tied in with my faith. As a Christian, there is a standard of a moral code in the Bible. Some might say that the statement of moral code would lend itself to legalism, but I say that it is obedience to God. You can have a strong moral code even if you have no faith, but God gives strength to live morally to those who believe in Christ as the one who died for their sins. Being respectable in this way honors God, self, and others.
Hearing that one word has reminded and encouraged me to mindfully try and live in a respectable way. It is respectable to be kind, listening, loving, forgiving, to have high standards for yourself and to be chaste, decent and discrete. You can't make anyone live this way it is up to you if you want it.
Thank you, Rita Hayworth, for inspiring me!
The lesson for the day: Respectability is something that you choose for yourself and yet it affects all who you come into contact with, and sometimes those you don't.