"You can have my sympathy or my respect, take your pick."
Anonymous Web Comment
On its face this comment is insightful. I am not sure, however, that I agree with it wholeheartedly...
Maybe it works as a platitude to apply to my own self-pity, and perhaps something to teach my children. But I don't think it is a helpful way for me to think about treating others.
So perhaps it is better said:
"People will either give you respect, or give you sympathy, but they will rarely give you both."