For many years, I would not let anyone call me "Sir".
For me it is really a sign of respect, a form or address for some one who is an elder, has accomplished something with their life, an adult.
Yesterday, leaving the Hospital, another worker I know by sight but not by name was approaching with a large linen cart. I stepped out of his way so he could pass me unhindered.
He looked me in the eye and said:
I did not let anyone call me that until I turned 25.
It is a very personal thing, to me at least.
Until I was about 25, I really did not feel I had accomplished anything.
I was in school to become what I am now, I was working in a fast food restaurant and felt I had made no real contributions to the world except giving people way more cholesterol than they needed.
Then on my 25th Birthday, I decided it was OK to be called Sir.
Now it is years later and I was called sir.
What have I done to merit the title of Sir?
One little word makes me pause and look at my life.
What have I done?
In an instant, when the young man wheeled clean or dirty, I don't know which, linens down the hall I assessed my life.
What have I done?
I am standing in a Rehabilitation Hospital with a great reputation, working with a great group of health care professionals. I have a great family with nephews and a niece that are doing alright. I am not an axe murderer, I keep my corner of the world clean, I halp when I can and try to leave a place better than when I got there.
I help people regain their independence, I help families be less afraid of thelife altering events they are in the midst of.
I stood up just a little taller and nodded to myself.
I can still be called "Sir".
It makes me no better, it grants me no more privilege or status, or money. But I stand a hair straighter and make a determined effort to be just a little better, to continue the right to be called Sir.
One little word creates such a pause for thought.