Since having an experience & writing this post, I read this quote:
Treat everyone with respect. The true measure of a man (of a woman) is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.
(Samuel Johnson, an English author).
The question quickly became, “How do I treat others who can do me absolutely no good?”. Seriously. I found myself challenged to do things for others that were not expecting anything & would never be able to do anything back for me. They would never be able for the simple reason, they didn’t even know me. They were strangers.
So I began…..
- opening the door & letting others out of a store or bank first, even though I was waiting to enter
- doing so, even when it meant waiting for them to get to the door—- now that was interesting as they realized they had held me up
- taking the shopping cart from a shopper on my way into the store, saving them the walk to the carriage cart (I am making the assumption that they would make the walk & not leave it in the parking lot)
- on the way to the carriage cart, I would take another person’s carriage as well for them
- offering to get something from the top shelf for someone struggling to get their product
- gave $1. to a woman that was short money at the register in front of me & was trying to decide what to put back. (OK, I am not sure this should even count as this may have truly been for me. I was so wanting to get out & concerned that I would need to move my few things off the express line, onto another line while they cancelled her transaction & started over).
But you get the point…..
Small kindnesses. Really not hard for me to do. All I needed to be was – aware. Aware of who was in need of a little kindness. They would never be able to do anything in return for me as the odds were slim that they would ever even see me again.
I was reminded of this quote last night, at a baby shower, as the conversation centered around the rudeness we all had received at the supermarket at one time or another. We laughed as we thought of comebacks we so wished we had delivered. And we all had them 🙂 And we laughed hysterically at our supermarket woes.
And then this morning I was reminded of the quote. I was reminded of my “experiment”. I remembered how people were genuinely & pleasantly & happily surprised at my actions. I remembered how good I felt inside of myself knowing that I had done for someone else expecting nothing in return.
So how are YOU doing with this?
Probably the same way I was doing. You see, if we are not consciously & deliberately making the choice to be different, to be kind, to be polite, to do for others expecting nothing in return, we will be no different than them. We are only going to be different by making the choice to be different.
Here’s the challenge…
For one week, treat everyone with respect. Treat everyone with respect. Treat EVERYONE with respect.
And see what happens. Yes, they are going to be shocked when they are treated well in spite of not deserving it. In spite of not being able to return the gesture. They will be delighted.
But you will be changed.