Growing up, I admired people who had qualities that I believed that I would like to have one day. This, I’m sure, is true of everyone. Maybe they owned a nice car or house. Maybe they got to travel to distant far off places. Maybe they were kind and generous with their time. They had the things and personality traits that I aspired to. It is a funny thing, admiration.
As a teenager, getting into relationships, admiration became a different beast entirely. I remember spending time with my first girlfriend. We were both fairly quiet people. I remember admiring her, but I don’t remember what I admired about her. Sure, she was pretty. She was nice to me too. That’s always a plus. But, there wasn’t substance there. Now that I think about it, admiration may have turned into infatuation without me realizing it. It was an interesting time. But if there aren’t things to aspire to, what is there?
Cut to a few years later and getting to work with one of my “hometown heroes.” I remember watching this guy play with his band. Great guitarist, great singer (looking back, nahhhh), was always cool to me. Had nothing but positive things to say to me and my small band of musical people. I admired that about him. He was very welcoming and willing to help out and talk. Of course, getting to know folks brings out other things. I lost the admiration and respect I had for that friendship for awhile.
These two little scenarios had me putting these people, whom I thought were the greatest, on a pedestal. It went from admiration to other things. Nowadays, I tend to get to know people a little better and find little things to admire. Little things like humility and kindness. Like the hypothetical person in the first paragraph up there. Folks that are generous with their time and stories. That’s the kind of thing I admire and still aspire to.