On Respect

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On 2nd October I did a post On Respect, one that I featured a 5-minute speech by a USAF Lt. General. Reactions to the post were positive in many ways with several comments mentioning that respect starts at the top.

Yes – respect starts at the top of each family teaching others the meaning of respect while modeling respectful behaviors.

Yes – respect starts at the top in every school classroom with its teacher leading the way.

Yes – respect starts at the top in every school building with its principal dealing with the staff and students.

Yes – respect starts at the top in every school district with top leadership in their dealing with the district staff and the community it serves.

Yes – respect starts at the top of every group, department, section, division, and headquarter of every corporation across the world.

Yes – respect starts at the top of every customer service organization as it deals with the public it serves.

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Yes – respect starts at the top of every local, state, and national government entity on how it deals with its constituents and opponents.

Yes – respects at the top, and President Trump displays more disrespect than any American leader in my lifetime. He’s a pathetic role model, but he is not a reason to disrespect nor he is the cause of disrespect.

Yes – respect starts at the top for individuals in every human encounter regardless of background, position, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, skin color, and more.

Yes – respect starts at the top when one says Respect your elders – but that doesn’t give the elders the right to disrespect – nor does elder status command automatic respect.

Yes – respect starts at the top of every human encounter – but “the customer is always right” doesn’t mean the customer can be disrespectful to customer service employees.

Yes – respect starts at the top – but there are many tops, and each of us are top in many situations.

Yes – respect starts at the top – and each of us are at the top – Respect starts with yourself, then one can respect others.

Yes – respect start at the top of each individual – in the head containing a brain – the center of all choices each person makes in personal and cyber encounters.

A person is a person – no matter how small. (Dr. Seuss)

On a Grocery-Store Experience

There’s nothing like a trip to the grocery store to witness the diverse nature of our society; variety of shapes and sizes, varying socio-economic circumstances, varying dress, different behaviors, and countless of other human traits.

While entering the parking lot I see a car cutting across the lot. As we approach one another, I slowed down to prevent being broadsided if I turned down the wrong row, and then noticed the driver is also talking on their phone.

As I start turning into a prime parking spot, a loose shopping cart was also there. Of course it’s very close to the cart corral.

I move the cart to the corral, only to notice that other two carts were just outside the corral. How hard can this be? Maybe the prior shoppers lacked the ability to push their cart into the stall.

As I’m walking toward the store, a lady exits her car talking on her phone, and continues as she walks toward the store. Since she’s still babbling while I’m in the produce department, I quickly get my items and change my shopping route.

In the serenity of my next aisle I encounter a deliberate shopper – the one standing beside their cart and in front of the items while blocking the entire aisle. Since I’m the patient type, I determined what I could get in that area without taking my cart.

Able to move on, I rounded the corner toward the next aisle and saw the lady still on the phone. I come to a screeching halt, and off to another aisle.

Fortunately, an aisle with a clear path; unfortunately, an aisle with nothing I needed. Knowing my needs are in the next aisle, I turn the corner to be confronted by a two-shopper blockade holding a social court. No problem, off the next aisle where a shopper studying a kitchen gadget label is pondering her decision. This time I politely say, “Excuse me”

Time to go back an aisle – Oh no … she’s still talking! Since she lacked Secret Service Agents, she can’t be that important, so I got my items, and pass her (while mentally mumbling to myself).

In the next aisle I encountered a leisurely shopper slowly strolling aimlessly down the center of the aisle; meaning I can’t pass on either side. Since I needed items here, fell in line behind the parade’s Grand Marshall.

After two more stops I move toward checkout. While passing the express, self-check lanes I noticed the clueless shopper who thought the sign said, “Express Checkout for Shoppers 12 and Over.” The good news is that it wasn’t the lady with the cell phone.

Finally, I’m out of there; bags in the car; cart in the corral; and driving down the row, but not home free because as I drove in front of the store, I waited on the person slowly crossing at a diagonal because they don’t know the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line!

Yes, this all this happened on the same day. Yes, we encounter situations like this everyday. Yes, I too can (sometimes) be the cause. Today though, I wish I had some of Bill Engvall’s signs to distribute. So I leave this post with three thoughts and a very short closing.

Principle 1: Life isn’t about us as individuals.

Principle 2: The little things we do in life don’t take that much extra time and effort. Smiles, greetings, a multitude of niceties, and even putting shopping carts in parking lot corrals, go a long way. Many years ago, a friend of mine would say, “It doesn’t cost much more to be first class.”

Principle 3: Be aware of your environment, because every decision we make as individuals impact others – even those little things.

With not that much effort, these principles not only would improve our life, but just as important, they would better the life of others – and that’s what life is about.