What is in a Title
“It is not titles that honor men [and women] but men [and women] that honor titles.” — Niccolo Machiavelli.
We all have titles, some of which we were born into and some of which we have received. There are relational titles from surnames that denote familial belonging to those that signify roles, such as Mother, Father, Sister, Brother. There are occupational titles that identify job and position level and academic titles that represent the degree of education attained. And further still, there are titles granted through awards and recognition of achievement.
While describing multiple facets of our identity, titles themselves do not define us, rather it is we who define them. How we act, what we do, and what we bring to these titles is what makes them great. The Purple Heart, for example, is not inherently imbued with greatness, but rather has been shaped by the greatness of sacrifices that those who have been honored with this award have made.
A title, whether it is earned through a promotion such as CEO, General Manager or Building Engineer, or bestowed based on achievement such as PHD or graduate, is still just a title. It’s more about how you fill your role in that title and how you propel beyond those landmarks to doing good and sometimes great things. When a janitor for NASA was once asked by a visitor what he did there, he replied “I’m helping to put a man on the moon.”
At the end of the day, we are what we make of ourselves, and what we make of ourselves shapes the roles we are in. And, the respect we garner from our peers, and the love we share among our family and friends are what ultimately, in the words of Machievelli, honor the titles we have.